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Trump remains highly popular with 86% approval among Republicans and independent leaners per Pew Poll and is preferred by Republicans over the party’s congressional leaders. Asked specifically who they’d trust if the two sides disagreed, most Republicans chose Trump-LA Times, 2/22/17

Pew survey dates: Feb. 7-12, 2017

2/22/17, Among Republicans, Trump is more popular than congressional leaders,LA Times, David Lauter

“Amid strain between the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, the White House holds the high ground, a new survey indicates.

Among Republicans, President Trump has greater popularity than the party’s congressional leaders. Asked specifically who they would trust if the two sides disagreed, most Republicans chose Trump over their party’s leadership.

The findings, from a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center underscore Trump’s continued sway with the Republican congressional majority. Although the president has historically low job approval ratings among the public at large, he remains highly popular among Republican partisans and in Repubican districts.

As for Democrats, they’re strongly in an oppositional mood. Asked if they were more worried that Democrats in Congress would go too far in opposing Trump or not go far enough, more than 70% of Democrats said they feared their party would not go far enough. Only 20% said they worried the party would go too far.

Republicans in Congress have eyed Trump warily on several fronts. His positions on trade and entitlement reform break with years of the party’s positions. His reluctance to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin has generated tension. And the administration’s lack of clarity on healthcare and tax policy have Republican leaders guessing which way to turn on major issues.

But Republican partisans have fewer reservations than their elected representatives. Eighty-six percent to 13%, those who identify as Republicans or as independents who lean Republican have a favorable view of Trump, the Pew survey found.

By comparison, 57% have a favorable view of Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, with 22% unfavorable and 21% having no opinion. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is slightly better known, with 65% of Republicans holding a favorable view, 23% an unfavorable view and 13% having no opinion.

Asked who they would trust if the two sides disagreed, 52% of Republicans said they would side with Trump and 34% with the Republicans in Congress. Republicans younger than 40 were the only major exception; 52% to 36%, they said they would side with Congress.

At the same time, Republican partisans now have a warmer opinion of their party leadership than they had during most of President Obama’s tenure….

During the Obama years, GOP partisans tended to be frustrated that their side could not reverse the president’s initiatives, even with a majority in the House, starting in 2010, and then in the Senate for Obama’s last two years. Their view of the GOP leadership has rebounded strongly since the election.

Democrats’ view of their congressional leadership has been more stable. And both sides widely dislike the other party’s leaders.”
……………………………. 

Pew Poll “Methodology

“The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted February 7-12, 2017 among a national sample of 1,503 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (377 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,126 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 680 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who is now at home. Interviews in the cell sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that person was an adult 18 years of age or older. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/ 

The combined landline and cell phone sample are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and nativity and region to parameters from the 2015 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and population density to parameters from the Decennial Census. The sample also is weighted to match current patterns of telephone status (landline only, cell phone only, or both landline and cell phone), based on extrapolations from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the combined sample and adjusts for household size among respondents with a landline phone. The margins of error reported and statistical tests of significance are adjusted to account for the survey’s design effect, a measure of how much efficiency is lost from the weighting procedures.”…

Why are US voters forced to pay for ‘regime changes’ in other countries (The Yanks are coming! The Yanks are coming!) but not allowed by the two US political parties to have ‘regime change’ in their own country? In 2004 the Bush admin. and its pal Soros backed Ukraine’s losing candidate, so incited street protests there to force another ‘election.’ In ‘re-election’ the Bush-Soros regime guy won. In 2014 and 2017 US neocons again force ‘regime change’ in Ukraine-Consortium News, James DiEugenio…US taxpayers have been de facto global slaves of gilded-age millionaires since WW I, forced to pay for and die in endless foreign wars (I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy!)

How could the State Department know so little about what it was about to unleash [endangering all Americans in yet another ‘regime change’ the US imposes around the world but will never allow US voters], given Ukraine’s deep historical divisions and the risk of an escalating conflict with nuclear-armed Russia?”

2/13/17, “A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See, Consortium News, James DiEugenio

“Exclusive: Ukraine on Fire, a new documentary about the Ukraine crisis, might change how people in the West perceive the conflict, but it’s unlikely to get much distribution since it contests the prevailing narrative.”…  

In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, whose political base was strongest among ethnic Russians in the east and south, won the presidential election by three percentage points over the U.S.-favored Viktor Yushchenko, whose base was mostly in the country’s west where the Ukrainian nationalists are strongest.

Immediately, Yushchenko’s backers claimed fraud citing exit polls that had been organized by a group of eight Western nations and four non-governmental organizations or NGOs, including the Renaissance Foundation founded by billionaire financial speculator George Soros.
 
Dick Morris, former President Bill Clinton’s political adviser, clandestinely met with Yushchenko’s team and advised them that the exit polls would not just help in accusations of fraud, but would bring protesters out into the streets. (Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 19, Number 1, p. 26)

Freedom House, another prominent NGO that receives substantial financing from the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), provided training to young activists who then rallied protesters in what became known as the Orange Revolution, one of the so-called “color revolutions” that the West’s mainstream media fell in love with. It forced an election rerun that Yushchenko won.

But Yushchenko’s presidency failed to do much to improve the lot of the Ukrainian people and he grew increasingly unpopular. In 2010, Yushchenko failed to make it out of the first round of balloting and his rival Yanukovych was elected president in balloting that outside observers judged free and fair.

Big-Power Games

If this all had occurred due to indigenous factors within Ukraine, it could have been glossed over as a young nation going through some painful growing pains. But as the film points out, this was not the case. Ukraine continued to be a pawn in big-power games with many Western officials hoping to draw the country away from Russian influence and into the orbit of NATO and the European Union.
.
In one of the interviews in Ukraine on Fire, journalist and author Robert Parry explains how the National Endowment for Democracy and many subsidized political NGOs emerged in the 1980s to replace or supplement what the CIA had traditionally done in terms of influencing the direction of targeted countries.

During the investigations of the Church Committee in the 1970s, the CIA’s “political action” apparatus for removing foreign leaders was exposed. So, to disguise these efforts, CIA Director William Casey, Reagan’s White House and allies in Congress created the NED to finance an array of political and media NGOs.

As Parry noted in the documentary, many traditional NGOs do valuable work in helping impoverished and developing countries, but this activist/propaganda breed of NGOs promoted U.S. geopolitical objectives abroad – and NED funded scores of such projects inside Ukraine in the run-up to the 2014 crisis.

Ukraine on Fire goes into high gear when it chronicles the events that occurred in 2014, resulting in the violent overthrow of President Yanukovych [whom the US and Soros didn’t want] and sparking the civil war that still rages. In the 2010 election, when Yushchenko couldn’t even tally in the double-digits, Yanukovych faced off against and defeated Yulia Tymoshenko, a wealthy oligarch who had served as Yushchenko’s prime minister….

Because of festering economic problems, the new president began to search for an economic partner who could provide a large loan. He first negotiated with the European Union, but these negotiations bogged down due to the usual draconian demands made by the International Monetary Fund.

So, in November 2013, Yanukovych began to negotiate with Russian President Putin who offered more generous terms. But Yanukovych’s decision to delay the association agreement with the E.U. provoked street protests in Kiev especially from the people of western Ukraine.

As Ukraine on Fire points out, other unusual occurrences also occurred, including the emergence of three new TV channels – Spilno TV, Espreso TV, and Hromadske TV – going on the air between Nov. 21 and 24, with partial funding from the U.S. Embassy [US taxpayers] and George Soros.
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Pro-E.U. protests in the Maidan square in central Kiev also grew more violent as ultra-nationalist street fighters from Lviv and other western areas began to pour in and engage in provocations, many of which were sponsored by Yarosh’s Right Sektor. The attacks escalated from torch marches similar to Nazi days to hurling Molotov cocktails at police to driving large tractors into police lines – all visually depicted in the film. As Yanukovich tells Stone, when this escalation happened, it made it impossible for him to negotiate with the Maidan crowd.

One of the film’s most interesting interviews is with Vitaliy Zakharchenko, who was Minister of the Interior at the time responsible for law enforcement and the conduct of the police. He traces the escalation of the attacks from Nov. 24 to 30, culminating with a clash between police and protesters over the transport of a giant Christmas tree into the Maidan. Zakharchenko said he now believes this confrontation was secretly approved by Serhiy Lyovochkin, a close friend of U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, as a pretext to escalate the violence.

At this point, the film addresses the direct involvement of U.S. politicians and diplomats. Throughout the crisis, American politicians visited Maidan, as both Republicans and Democrats, such as Senators John McCain, R-Arizona, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut. stirred up the crowds. Yanukovych also said he was in phone contact with Vice President Joe Biden, who he claims was misleading him about how to handle the crisis.

The film points out that the real center of American influence in the Kiev demonstrations was with Ambassador Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland. As Parry points out, although Nuland was serving under President Obama, her allegiances were really with the neoconservative movement, most associated [in the past] with the Republican Party. [In 2016 Democrat Hillary Clinton was the clear neocon, Deep State candidate. Led by the the bloodthirsty NY Times and Washington Post, mass murdering neocons today are most certainly centered in the Democrat Party. Neocons were once a few embarrassing Establishment Republicans but now they control the entire US government. Necon Victoria Nuland’s career flourished during 8 years of Obama. Finally, the Establishments of “both” political parties have exactly the same agenda: globalism, endless foreign wars, open borders, and massive free trade deals. Donald Trump voters represent the “second” US political party].

Her husband is Robert Kagan, [a neocon columnist for the neocon Washington Post] who worked as a State Department propagandist on the Central American wars in the 1980s and was the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century in the 1990s, the group that organized political and media pressure for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Kagan also was McCain’s foreign policy adviser in the 2008 presidential election (although he threw his support behind Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race).

Adept Manipulators

As Parry explained, the neoconservatives have become quite adept at disguising their true aims and have powerful allies in the mainstream press. This combination has allowed them to push the foreign policy debate to such extremes that, when anyone objects, they can be branded a Putin or Yanukovych “apologist.”

Thus, Pyatt’s frequent meetings with the demonstrators in the embassy and Nuland’s handing out cookies to protesters in the Maidan were not criticized as American interference in a sovereign state, but were praised as “promoting democracy” abroad. However, as the Maidan crisis escalated, Ukrainian ultra-nationalists moved to the front, intensifying their attacks on police. 

Many of these extremists were disciples of Bandera and Lebed. By February 2014, they were armed with shotguns and rapid-fire handguns.

On Feb. 20, 2014, a mysterious sniper, apparently firing from a building controlled by the Right Sektor, shot both police and protesters, touching off a day of violence that left about 14 police and some 70 protesters dead.

With Kiev slipping out of control, Yanukovich was forced to negotiate with representatives from France, Poland and Germany. On Feb. 21, he agreed to schedule early elections and to accept reduced powers. At the urging of Vice President Biden, Yanukovych also pulled back the police.

But the agreement – though guaranteed by the European nations – was quickly negated by renewed attacks from the Right Sektor and its street fighters who seized government buildings. Russian intelligence services got word that an assassination plot was in the works against Yanukovych, who fled for his life.

On Feb. 24, Yanukovych asked permission to enter Russia for his safety and the Ukrainian parliament (or Rada), effectively under the control of the armed extremists, voted to remove Yanukovych from office in an unconstitutional manner because the courts were not involved and the vote to impeach him did not reach the mandatory threshold. Despite these irregularities, the U.S. and its European allies quickly recognized the new government as “legitimate.”

Calling a Coup a Coup

But the ouster of Yanukovych had all the earmarks of a coup. An intercepted phone call, apparently in early February, between Nuland and Pyatt revealed that they were directly involved in displacing Yanukovych and choosing his successor.

The pair reviewed the field of candidates with Nuland favoring Arseniy Yatsenyuk, declaring “Yats is the guy” and discussing with Pyatt how to “glue this thing.” Pyatt wondered about how to “midwife this thing.” They sounded like Gilded Age millionaires in New York deciding who should become the next U.S. president. On Feb. 27, Yatsenyuk became Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Not everyone in Ukraine agreed with the new regime, however. Crimea, which had voted heavily for Yanukovych, decided to hold a referendum on whether to split from Ukraine and become a part of Russia. The results of the referendum were overwhelming. Some 96 percent of Crimeans voted to unite with Russia. Russian troops – previously stationed in Crimea under the Sevastopol naval base agreement – provided security against Right Sektor and other Ukrainian forces moving against the Crimean secession, but there was no evidence of Russian troops intimidating voters or controlling the elections. The Russian government then accepted the reunification with Crimea, which had historically been part of Russia dating back hundreds of years.

Two eastern provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, also wanted to split off from Ukraine and also conducted a referendum in support of that move. But Putin would not agree to the request from the two provinces, which instead declared their own independence, a move that the new government in Kiev denounced as illegal. The Kiev regime also deemed the insurgents “terrorists” and launched an “anti-terrorism operation” to crush the resistance. Ultra-nationalist and even neo-Nazi militias, such as the Azov Battalion, took the lead in the bloody fighting.

Anti-coup demonstrations also broke out in the city of Odessa to the south. Ukrainian nationalist leader Andrei Parubiy went to Odessa, and two days later, on May 2, 2014, his street fighters attacked the demonstrators, driving them into the Trade Union building, which was then set on fire. Forty-two people were killed, some of whom jumped to their deaths.

‘Other Side of the Story’

If the film just got across this “other side of the story,” it would provide a valuable contribution since most of this information has been ignored or distorted by the West’s mainstream media, which simply blames the Ukraine crisis on Vladimir Putin. But in addition to the fine work by scenarist Vanessa Dean, the direction by Igor Lopatonok and the editing by Alexis Chavez are extraordinarily skillful and supple. 

The 15-minute prologue, where the information about the Nazi collaboration by Bandera and Lebed is introduced, is an exceptional piece of filmmaking….

Stone’s interviews with Putin and Yanukovych are also quite newsworthy, presenting a side of these demonized foreign leaders that has been absent in the propagandistic Western media….

When the film ends, the enduring message is similar to those posed by the American interventions in Vietnam and Iraq. How could the State Department know so little about what it was about to unleash, given Ukraine’s deep historical divisions and the risk of an escalating conflict with nuclear-armed Russia?

In Vietnam, Americans knew little about the country’s decades-long struggle of the peasantry to be free from French and Japanese colonialism. Somehow, America was going to win their hearts and minds and create a Western-style “democracy” when many Vietnamese simply saw the extension of foreign imperialism. 

In Iraq, President George W. Bush and his coterie of neocons was going to oust Saddam Hussein and create a Western-style democracy in the Middle East, except that Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Moslems and how Iraq was likely to split over sectarian rivalries and screw up his expectations.

Similarly, the message of Ukraine on Fire is that short-sighted, ambitious and ideological officials – unchecked by their superiors – created something even worse than what existed. While high-level corruption persists today in Ukraine and may be even worse than before, the conditions of average Ukrainians have deteriorated.

And, the Ukraine conflict has reignited the Cold War by moving Western geopolitical forces onto Russia’s most sensitive frontier, which, as scholar Joshua Shifrinson has noted, violates a pledge made by Secretary of State James Baker in February 1990 as the Soviet Union peacefully accepted the collapse of its military influence in East Germany and eastern Europe. (Los Angeles Times, 5/30/ 2016)

This film also reminds us that what happened in Ukraine was a bipartisan effort. It was begun under George W. Bush and completed under Barack Obama. As Oliver Stone noted in the discussion that followed the film’s premiere in Los Angeles, the U.S. painfully needs some new leadership reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, people who understand how America’s geopolitical ambitions must be tempered by on-the-ground realities and the broader needs of humanity to be freed from the dangers of all-out war.

“James DiEugenio is a researcher and writer on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other mysteries of that era. His most recent book is Reclaiming Parkland.”

 https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/13/a-documentary-youll-likely-never-see/

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Somali refugees, immigrants or their offspring have already created a Muslim terror cell in Minneapolis. “‘Everyone talks about Brussels or Paris having cells,’ U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said…then, raising his voice: “We have a cell here in Minneapolis.'” Judge sentenced 9 Somali-Minnesotans on terror charges. Chump US taxpayers have even been forced to pay for a decade of federal Somali terror investigations-Nov. 16, 2016, Star-Tribune

The judge later explained his forcefulness–so direct it surprised some attorneys before sending Daud to prison: “We have to incapacitate this cell.”

11/16/2016, Terrorist cell is alive in Minneapolis, U.S. judge in ISIL (ISIS) case says, Star-Tribune, Stephen Montemayor 

“Sentencings do not put ISIL (ISIS) case to rest, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis says.”

Judge Michael Davis, Star-Tribune

““Everyone talks about Brussels or Paris having cells,” U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said one day, then, raising his voice: “We have a cell here in Minneapolis.” 

In sentencing nine young Somali-Minnesotans on terror conspiracy charges this week, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis closed a chapter in the federal government’s long, extraordinary investigation of ISIL recruitment in Minnesota. But the full story is far from over. 

In nine hearings over three days before a courtroom packed with the families of the young men who sought to give their lives to ISIL, Davis repeatedly underlined a clear message: There is a terrorist cell in Minneapolis and it is still alive today.

Each day, Davis sought to extract acknowledgment from the young men that they were “terrorists,” and left no doubt as to his thoughts on whether they were simply misguided youths.

“Everyone talks about Brussels or Paris having cells,” Davis said one day, then, raising his voice: “We have a cell here in Minneapolis.”

Saying the Minnesota public had “danced around” the issue, Davis described the cell’s size as being between nine to 20, including those sentenced last week and others killed abroad.

Later in the week, he raised eyebrows in the courtroom by telling one defendant that he noted “six to 10” supporters who attended previous hearings and insisted that “some defendants gave them signals.”

“I know they’re out there,” Davis said. “The community knows they’re out there.”

Federal prosecutors seemed to share Davis’ conviction. In an unusual development on Wednesday, they asked that two defendants, Mohamed Farah and Abdirahman Daud, be returned to the courtroom after their hearings were finished.

Prosecutors said both men flashed index fingers pointed upward as they faced the gallery on their way out, an apparent symbol of “tawhid” that symbolizes an Islamic concept of “oneness of God” but is also a popular symbol used by ISIL supporters. 

Minneapolis has been home to the nation’s largest ongoing FBI investigation into terrorism recruitment for most of a decade, centered on the city’s Somali-American population. The probe began with the departures of roughly two dozen men and women who returned to Somalia to join the terror group Al-Shabab. 

It expanded when a group of young Somali-American co-conspirators trained their sights on Syria to join the cause of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) beginning in early 2014.

Davis has presided over every trial the investigation produced, and his judgments are being closely watched by an international audience.

His sentencing decisions this week — ranging from time served for one defendant to up to 35 years in prison for another — signal that courts are beginning to figure out how to address terror cases with more nuance….

But Davis’ sentencing decisions also sent the message that any attempts at rehabilitating would-be foreign fighters are in their infancy at best.

“Everyone was doing this for free,” said Mary McKinley, whose nonprofit Heartland Democracy worked on a court-approved counseling and mentoring program with defendant Abdullahi Yusuf since shortly after his late 2014 arrest. 

Before sentencing Yusuf, 21, to time already served and sending him to a halfway house, Davis stopped short of endorsing Heartland Democracy as a suitable terrorism disengagement program….

Davis had created the nation’s first terrorism disengagement and deradicalization program earlier this year, contracting a German terrorism scholar to evaluate defendants before sentencing, assess their risk of recidivism and recommend any release programs that could provide an “off ramp” from radical thought or action.

But at Yusuf’s Monday sentencing, Kevin Lowry, Minnesota’s chief probation officer, told Davis that his office found no treatment providers contracted by the U.S. probation office that provide suitable treatment. Nor does the federal prison system offer specialized treatment for terrorism defendants….

Other defendants proposed various release programs, but Davis made clear that there was nothing suitable to impose as an official release program, let alone as an alternative to prison.

“You’re talking to the person that started things,” Davis told one attorney. “I know there’s nothing there. We don’t have anything in the U.S., we don’t have anything in the district of Minnesota and it’s questionable whether any programs around the world are working. That’s where we are at.”

Davis’ courtroom exchanges with defendants continued to detail how Minneapolis’ ISIL (ISIS) conspiracy stood out among the nation’s terror cases. One lesson, revealed because the Twin Cities group of defendants was so large, is that peer-to-peer recruiting can play a powerful role in the radicalization of young people. Defendant Zacharia Abdurahman referred to one of their colleagues who actually left for Syria and is presumed dead.

“When Abdi Nur left, that’s what changed the tides,” Abdurahman said. “I went from just being interested … to this is what I’ve got to do now.”

During Farah’s sentencing hearing, the judge made clear how much he thinks the community learned from the case.

“It’s on the record. There’s no denying of it,” Davis said. “Your own voice is on those tapes. Your voice here today is admitting to me what you have done. The litany of things that you did, the lies that you told should be published so there is no doubt about what is happening here today.”

The judge later explained his forcefulness — so direct that it surprised some attorneys — before sending Daud to prison: “We have to incapacitate this cell.”

……..

US has live Islamic terror cell in Minneapolis said Judge Michael Davis in sentencing 9 young Somali-Minnesotans on terror charges. Struggling US taxpayers have been forced to pay for a decade of federal Somali terror investigations in Minnesota-Nov. 16, 2016, Star-Tribune

“Sentencings do not put ISIL (ISIS) case to rest, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis says.”

Judge Michael Davis, Star-Tribune

““Everyone talks about Brussels or Paris having cells,” U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said one day, then, raising his voice: “We have a cell here in Minneapolis.” 

In sentencing nine young Somali-Minnesotans on terror conspiracy charges this week, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis closed a chapter in the federal government’s long, extraordinary investigation of ISIL recruitment in Minnesota. But the full story is far from over. 

In nine hearings over three days before a courtroom packed with the families of the young men who sought to give their lives to ISIL, Davis repeatedly underlined a clear message: There is a terrorist cell in Minneapolis and it is still alive today.Each day, Davis sought to extract acknowledgment from the young men that they were “terrorists,” and left no doubt as to his thoughts on whether they were simply misguided youths. 

“Everyone talks about Brussels or Paris having cells,” Davis said one day, then, raising his voice: “We have a cell here in Minneapolis.” 

Saying the Minnesota public had “danced around” the issue, Davis described the cell’s size as being between nine to 20, including those sentenced last week and others killed abroad.

Later in the week, he raised eyebrows in the courtroom by telling one defendant that he noted “six to 10” supporters who attended previous hearings and insisted that “some defendants gave them signals.” 

“I know they’re out there,” Davis said. “The community knows they’re out there.”

Federal prosecutors seemed to share Davis’ conviction. In an unusual development on Wednesday, they asked that two defendants, Mohamed Farah and Abdirahman Daud, be returned to the courtroom after their hearings were finished. Prosecutors said both men flashed index fingers pointed upward as they faced the gallery on their way out, an apparent symbol of “tawhid” that symbolizes an Islamic concept of “oneness of God” but is also a popular symbol used by ISIL supporters.

Minneapolis has been home to the nation’s largest ongoing FBI investigation into terrorism recruitment for most of a decade, centered on the city’s Somali-American population. The probe began with the departures of roughly two dozen men and women who returned to Somalia to join the terror group Al-Shabab.

It expanded when a group of young Somali-American co-conspirators trained their sights on Syria to join the cause of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) beginning in early 2014. 

Davis has presided over every trial the investigation produced, and his judgments are being closely watched by an international audience. 

His sentencing decisions this week — ranging from time served for one defendant to up to 35 years in prison for another — signal that courts are beginning to figure out how to address terror cases with more nuance….

But Davis’ sentencing decisions also sent the message that any attempts at rehabilitating would-be foreign fighters are in their infancy at best.

“Everyone was doing this for free,” said Mary McKinley, whose nonprofit Heartland Democracy worked on a court-approved counseling and mentoring program with defendant Abdullahi Yusuf since shortly after his late 2014 arrest.

Before sentencing Yusuf, 21, to time already served and sending him to a halfway house, Davis stopped short of endorsing Heartland Democracy as a suitable terrorism disengagement program…. 

Davis had created the nation’s first terrorism disengagement and deradicalization program earlier this year, contracting a German terrorism scholar to evaluate defendants before sentencing, assess their risk of recidivism and recommend any release programs that could provide an “off ramp” from radical thought or action. 

But at Yusuf’s Monday sentencing, Kevin Lowry, Minnesota’s chief probation officer, told Davis that his office found no treatment providers contracted by the U.S. probation office that provide suitable treatment. Nor does the federal prison system offer specialized treatment for terrorism defendants….

Other defendants proposed various release programs, but Davis made clear that there was nothing suitable to impose as an official release program, let alone as an alternative to prison.

“You’re talking to the person that started things,” Davis told one attorney. “I know there’s nothing there. We don’t have anything in the U.S., we don’t have anything in the district of Minnesota and it’s questionable whether any programs around the world are working. That’s where we are at.”

Davis’ courtroom exchanges with defendants continued to detail how Minneapolis’ ISIL (ISIS) conspiracy stood out among the nation’s terror cases. One lesson, revealed because the Twin Cities group of defendants was so large, is that peer-to-peer recruiting can play a powerful role in the radicalization of young people. Defendant Zacharia Abdurahman referred to one of their colleagues who actually left for Syria and is presumed dead.

“When Abdi Nur left, that’s what changed the tides,” Abdurahman said. “I went from just being interested … to this is what I’ve got to do now.”

During Farah’s sentencing hearing, the judge made clear how much he thinks the community learned from the case.

“It’s on the record. There’s no denying of it,” Davis said. “Your own voice is on those tapes. Your voice here today is admitting to me what you have done. The litany of things that you did, the lies that you told should be published so there is no doubt about what is happening here today.” 

The judge later explained his forcefulness — so direct that it surprised some attorneys — before sending Daud to prison: “We have to incapacitate this cell.”

……….

 

ABC News’ Martha Raddatz choked back tears as she discussed the Trump presidency-Howard Kurtz, Nov. 9, 2016

ABC’s Martha Raddatz choked back tears as she discussed the Trump presidency.“…

11/9/16,Trump beats the media and the establishment in pulling off the greatest upset ever, Howard Kurtz, Fox News

Donald Trump, the real estate mogul mocked and minimized by the media and political establishment, has stunned the world with a death-defying campaign that has captured the presidency….

The man who had never run for public office, who had supposedly alienated so many women and minorities that he had no serious chance, somehow captured the highest office in the land.

It was not until 2:30 am that first the AP, then the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, then Fox News, declared Trump to be the 45th president.

There was a sense of disbelief, even shock, among journalists on and off the air as states like Ohio, North Carolina and Florida fell into the Trump column and Clinton failed to put away the big blue Midwestern states. Once Trump was within 54 electoral votes of winning the White House, the entire conversation changed:

How did Trump do this? How could Clinton have blown this?

How could we have missed this? How would this guy govern?

Some media figures lashed out on Twitter. ABC’s Martha Raddatz choked back tears as she discussed the Trump presidency.“…
……….

 

Trump leads by 7 points in Iowa, Des Moines Register Poll, Nov. 1-4, 2016, 800 Iowa voters who’ve already voted or will vote

Trump 46
Hillary 39
Johnson 6
Stein 1

Poll dates, Nov. 1-4, 2016 (Tu-F), 800 Iowa likely voters, land line and telephone, 3.5 error margin

11/5/16, Iowa Poll: Trump opens 7-point lead over Clinton, Des Moines Register, Jason Noble

The Iowa Poll, conducted Nov. 1-4 for The Des Moines Register and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 800 Iowans ages 18 or older who say they will definitely vote or have already voted in the 2016 general election.

Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted 1,072 Iowa adults with randomly selected landline and cell phone numbers supplied by Survey Sampling International. Responses from the full probability sample were adjusted by age and sex to reflect the general population based on recent census data. Interviews were administered in English.

Questions based on the subsample of 800 Iowa likely voters have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points….Results based on smaller samples of respondents — such as by gender or age — have a larger margin of error.”
……………………………..

p. 2, In the last month or so, have you become more or less confident that [—–] would be a successful president if elected?

More confident
——————

Trump 39
Hillary 28

—————- 

p. 2,  18% of voters will vote straight Democrat ticket, 18% will vote straight Republican.

53% of Iowa voters won’t vote straight ticket

Trump 48, Hillary 42.6, USC Dornsife LA Times Presidential Election Daybreak Poll through Nov. 4, 2016, published Nov. 5

Trump 48
Hillary 42.6
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11/5/16, USC Dornsife  LA Times Presidential Election Daybreak Poll
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Presidential Election VoteThis chart tracks our best estimate, over time, of how America plans to vote in November

The final blue and red figures on the right side of the chart represent our most recent estimates of Hillary Clinton’s vote (blue squares) and Donald Trump’s (red diamonds). These estimates represent weighted averages of all responses in the prior week. The gray band is a “95-percent confidence interval”. Figures lying outside the gray band mean that we are at least 95% confident that the candidate with the highest percentage will win the popular vote

About the Survey✝

The USC Dornsife/LA Times Presidential Election “Daybreak” Poll is part of the ongoing Understanding America Study: (UAS) at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, in partnership with the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the Los Angeles Times. Every day, we invite one-seventh of the members of the UAS election panel to answer three predictive questions: What is the percent chance that… (1) you will vote in the presidential election? (2) you will vote for Clinton, Trump, or someone else? and (3) Clinton, Trump or someone else will win? As their answers come in, we update the charts daily (just after midnight) with an average of all of the prior week’s responses. To find out more about what lies behind the vote, each week we also ask respondents one or two extra questions about their preferences and values. The team responsible for the USC Dornsife/LA Times Presidential Election Poll four years ago developed the successful RAND Continuous Presidential Election Poll, which was based on the same methodology.”