Trevor Noah Explains How Eric Trump Got Like This

After a report alleged that Eric Trump?s charity foundation funneled donations from a benefit golf tournament for pediatric cancer to the Trump Organization, Trevor Noah on Wednesday analyzed this apparent act of greed.

Eric Trump denies the allegations, but where could the second son of President Donald Trump have learned such ?heartless? behavior, ?The Daily Show? host asked.

OK, it doesn?t take a genius to figure that out, but it takes a comedian to bring it home.

?This is the curse of being one of Donald Trump?s children,? Noah said. ?You can try and be good but he?ll be like, ?No, no, no, don?t do that. You?re a Trump.? And now Eric might as well be one of Trump?s buildings. He?s not as popular as he once was and if you look deep, you?ll find that he?s also empty on the inside.?

Ouch. Watch the full analysis above.

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Interior Secretary Takes Aim At Obama-Era Sage Grouse Protections

WASHINGTON ? The Trump administration has called for a review of an Obama-era conservation plan for the greater sage grouse, a move that appears partially aimed at opening up more of the declining gamebird?s habitat to oil and gas development. 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on a call Wednesday that the secretarial order he will sign Thursday will establish a team to review conservation efforts and make management recommendations within 60 days. The goal, Zinke said, is to improve collaboration between federal agencies and 11 Western states to ensure continued protections of the imperiled bird, while providing states with ?greater flexibility? to pursue opportunities for energy development and job growth.

?There have been some complaints by several of the governors that their ability to use federal lands ? whether it?s for oil and gas, recreation, timber, across the board ? that some of the heavy handedness on habitats don?t allow for some of those uses, and they?ve come up with what they believe are innovative plans and workarounds,? Zinke said. ?And we certainly want to work with states if that?s their desire to do that.?

Zinke added there is ?a lot of mistrust? and ?anger? in communities that feel they haven?t had a voice. 

Sage grouse, a ground-dwelling game bird with an elaborate mating ritual, used to number in the millions. Loss of sagebrush habitat from development and invasive plant species has decimated the bird population, now estimated between 200,000 and 500,000 individuals. Their current range spans some 257,000 square miles across 11 Western states, less than half of the species? historic range.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined in 2015 that, as a result of a collaborative efforts between federal, state and local parties, the greater sage grouse did not warrant protections under the federal endangered species list. Then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called it a ?milestone for conservation in America.?

But the decision was criticized from both sides, with environmentalists arguing it would not do enough to protect the native bird, and oil, gas and mining interests saying it would hinder development. 

Zinke said Wednesday that ?no party that I know wants the sage grouse to be listed? under the Endangered Species Act, and ?no party that I know doesn?t want a healthy population of sage grouse out West.? He said the review would consider focusing management policies more on populations, rather than habitat, and look at innovative technologies, including drones to obtain more accurate population courts. 

Conservationists quickly slammed Zinke?s decision. 

Jim Lyons, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a former Interior Department official, said in a statement that the review could ?compromise years of collaboration? and ?appears to be a thinly veiled and unnecessary attempt to open up important habitat to oil and gas drilling, jeopardizing the important balance and flexibility offered in the existing plans.?

Bobby McEnaney, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Zinke has found a new way to imperil the bird species ? via executive action. 

?Forget climate change, expanding land developments, or ongoing impacts from the fossil fuel industry,? McEnaney said in a statement. ?By single-handedly upending this agreement, Secretary Zinke might just have landed the decisive blow to the sage grouse, and the unique sagebrush habitat of the American West.? 

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Shakespeare’s Words Repurposed In An Inspiring Short Film About Rape Culture

A woman jolts awake, and for a moment she?s disoriented. She gathers up her clothes, and hears a shower running, presumably the morning sounds of a partner she?s not happy to see.

?Let me be severe to myself, but not unjust,? she says, words borrowed from a play called ?Double Falsehood,? which is attributed to William Shakespeare by some scholars. ?Was it a rape, then??

It?s the opening scene to a short and potent film produced by Thaddeus Shafer and Kari Lee Cartwright. Called ?Was It Rape, Then??, the story borrows lines from Shakespeare?s plays to recreate the multitude of dire experiences that can arise from rape culture.

The short film ? adapted from an onstage performance by Charissa J. Adams for a burlesque show called ?Cabaret Consensual? ? follows several women as they navigate social situations and private thoughts about non-consensual sex. Over the course of the film, a chorus of women questions the injustices done against them, but go on to turn their pain into personal triumph.

Early lines lament ?what men daily do,? but as the film progresses, its heroines find it in them to ?fight,? ?with hearts more proof than shields.?

?Shakespeare played with context all the time ? double meaning, double thoughts, double lives. When we hear it live, we?re always halfway firmly rooted to the present moment onstage, and halfway floating in an imagined reality,? Shafer told HuffPost in an interview. ?Flipping genders is not unusual in Shakespeare […] It?s an especially powerful device when you can pull women into leading the rousing, militant speeches against a mortal enemy. We wanted to portray the fight of sexual assault survivors as, yes, an internal one, but also an external real battle for survival and autonomy, for truth and dignity.?

Shafer went on to explain that the aim of the short film is to explore the nuanced range of experiences that can fall under the descriptor of ?rape.?

?We are so locked into our strict definitions in this culture, so much so that it can be very difficult to be expressive with words without painting yourself into a corner. ?Rape? is one of those words, and we wanted to find a way to let rape, and the question of rape, permeate without boundaries and without needing to divide our protagonists legalistically,? Shafer said. ?They are all a part of one fight.?

Cartwright echoed that idea, and elaborated on it. She hopes that project will make viewers feel ?connected, empowered, emboldened and energized.? She also hopes the film will generate empathy for assault survivors, and to look beyond the ?harsh line between rape/not rape.?

?This has been happening for millennia, not just in the situations portrayed in our 3.5 minutes,? Cartwright said. ?We also stand in solidarity with the countless forms of sexual violence all over the world, crossing all class and cultural boundaries, overt and subtle, whether in schools, or the military or minority communities.?

Need help? In the U.S., visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center?s website

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Broadening ‘Buy American’ Is The Path To Prosperity

Most taxpayers want their tax dollars spent on American-made goods and services. Democrats and Republicans alike share this patriotic ?fair trade? value that our government should spend our money at home ? whether it?s state and municipal contracts or big federal infrastructure investments. That?s why Buy American laws that give preference to U.S. companies in government contracts are so popular, except with the foreign companies that want to underbid American manufacturers and the other countries that want to take jobs away through bad trade deals.

Those bad trade deals with their generous government procurement chapters have undermined the letter and spirit of our Buy American laws and undercut American workers in manufacturing and the public service sector. The U.S. is a party to the Government Procurement Agreement, for example, a 47-nation side deal to the WTO. It was the subject of a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, which revealed that foreign firms are able to bid on far more U.S. opportunities than U.S. firms are able to bid on foreign ones. Referring to that report, an administration official admitted that ?the U.S. may not be getting its fair share of the global government procurement market through its free trade agreement concessions.?

We appeal to the administration and the Congress, American business and labor, workers and taxpayers to rally around Buy American.

We agree. And we hope the administration and the Congress will work together to strengthen Buy American laws and regulations. Fortunately, we have good reasons to be optimistic about dramatic bipartisan reform, especially when it comes to government procurement. Democrats in the Congress are leading the legislative way to defend and improve Buy American. Some of the early activities of the Republican in the White House indicate that he may share their goal. While we were disappointed when President Trump reneged on his commitment to insist on U.S.-made steel in the construction of the Keystone pipeline, we were heartened when he issued an executive order on Buy American.

The ?Buy American and Hire American? EO could help jumpstart an investment in domestic production that would employ U.S. workers and boost the economy at the same time. It outlines federal procurement policies that focus on utilizing goods, products and materials made in this country. Most importantly, it directs federal agencies to reduce the use of waivers and exemptions that have allowed them to bypass Buy American laws up until now. We concur in AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka?s reaction to the EO, that it is a ?good first step toward making Buy America provisions more effective and discouraging excessive waivers, but more needs to be done to pivot the U.S. economy toward steady wage and job growth.?

Union members in manufacturing and the building trades depend on pro-U.S. trade and procurement policies and, from where we sit, the President?s EO, coupled with the passage of legislative initiatives like Senator Stabenow?s new bill, S 908, and Congressman Lipinski?s Buy American Improvement Act, HR 904, promises good outcomes for American workers. The Democrats? approach to these issues mirrors the objectives of the renewed interest in Buy/Hire American. And our members and American taxpayers generally will benefit when federal and state procurement policies are made stronger, more transparent and less susceptible to abuse and avoidance through waivers. Accordingly, we appeal to the administration and the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, American business and labor, workers and taxpayers to rally around Buy American and commit ourselves to hire American.

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Why So Many Rape Victims Don’t Simply ‘Fight Back’

Last winter, a judge in Turin, Italy, acquitted a 46-year-old man who had been accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague. His rationale for tossing the case, The Washington Post reported, was that the woman did not react strongly enough. She said ?stop it!? and ?enough? while being attacked, but did not scream. 

Saying that a woman cannot have been raped because her response was too muted is a deeply flawed argument, but the Italy case is not an anomaly. Women are expected to fight back, and when they don?t, their stories are questioned and even discredited ? sometimes by the very people and systems meant to protect them. 

But a startling new Swedish study, published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica on Wednesday, shows just how ?normal? it is for victims of sexual assault to experience a temporary paralysis that keeps them from fighting back or screaming. The researchers spoke to nearly 300 women who went to an emergency clinic in Stockholm within one month of a rape or attempted rape. Seventy percent of the women said they experienced significant ?tonic immobility,? or involuntary paralysis, during the attack.

And nearly 50 percent reported extreme paralysis, such that they were effectively catatonic. 

?It really confirms that a significant number of women who experience sexual assault do not respond in what we think of as the typical ?fight or flight? pattern; they respond by freezing,? Laura Palumbo, communications director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told HuffPost. Palumbo, who did not work on the study, said the findings confirm just how complex the neurobiology of trauma is, and that there is no one-size-fits-all response.

Tonic immobility is believed to be an evolutionary defense mechanism in animals. When they cannot fight back ? and when other resources are not available to them ? their bodies freeze. 

Women who have shared their experiences with sexual assault have put words to that feeling. ?When he started pulling down my pants and underwear anyway, my body seemed to freeze over,? writer Jackie Hong said in a piece for Vice. ?A million thoughts rushed through my head and then stopped, and my mind started drifting somewhere else, somewhere safer, as I lay in the back of his car stiff and silent.? Other pieces describe the shame women feel after the fact. ?More than anything, I think I felt stupid for freezing up and not getting away sooner,? another person wrote

The researchers also found that women who experienced paralysis while being assaulted were at higher risk of subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The reasons behind that correlation are not fully understood; however, tonic immobility, depression and PTSD all have a strong neurobiological component to them.

Palumbo said that people who work with survivors of sexual violence have understood for a while that paralysis is a normal response, but the new study shows just how prevalent it is. She hopes future research will explore the topic in men who have been sexually assaulted. (The current investigation was limited to women simply because the clinic only served female patients during the time of the study, not because its authors hypothesized that temporary paralysis is somehow an inherently female response to trauma and assault.)

?So much of what we think someone ?could? or ?should? be doing is not an option when a person?s counter response kicks in, and that?s incredibly valuable information for anyone who is working in the medical field to understand … it?s important for police and investigative officials, for attorneys and judges,? Palumbo said. ?But it?s also important for the rest of us who come into contact with sexual assault survivors on a daily basis, whether we think about that intentionally or not.?

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