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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
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  3.  <title>Vox -  All</title>
  4.  <icon></icon>
  5.  <updated>2024-02-28T00:02:56-05:00</updated>
  6.  <id></id>
  7.  <link type="text/html" href="" rel="alternate"/>
  8.  <entry>
  9.    <published>2024-02-28T00:02:56-05:00</published>
  10.    <updated>2024-02-28T00:02:56-05:00</updated>
  11.    <title>Can Biden contain the fallout from his Gaza policy in Michigan? </title>
  12.    <content type="html">  
  14.    &lt;figure&gt;
  15.      &lt;img alt="" src="" /&gt;
  16.        &lt;figcaption&gt;US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) speaks alongside Shawn Fain, president of the United Automobile Workers, at a press conference calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East, outside of the US Capitol on December 14, 2023, in Washington, DC. | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  17.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  19.  &lt;p&gt;Biden’s support for Israel’s military campaign is testing Arab American voters’ loyalty in Michigan and beyond.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="8B48W5"&gt;&lt;em&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Editor’s note, February 28, 12:01 am ET:&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/em&gt;&lt;em&gt; President Joe Biden won Michigan’s Democratic primary Tuesday night, although vote totals — including the share of “uncommitted” votes — are still being determined. The original story that follows was published February 27.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  20. &lt;p id="XD92ZS"&gt;Arab American activists and their allies are urging voters to cast ballots as “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Democratic primary on Tuesday in protest of &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;President Joe Biden&lt;/a&gt;’s support for &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Israel&lt;/a&gt;’s war in &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Gaza&lt;/a&gt;. They’re unlikely to change the result of the contest, in which Biden is the only major candidate, but they’re hoping to signal their anger — and send a warning — to Democrats in one of the most critical swing states on the 2024 map.&lt;/p&gt;
  21. &lt;p id="yOvtjk"&gt;Michigan is home to more than 300,000 people who &lt;a href=""&gt;claim Middle Eastern or North African heritage&lt;/a&gt;, many of them concentrated in the city of Dearborn — one of the largest Arab American communities in the US. These are voters who helped deliver Michigan to Biden in 2020, when his margin of victory in the state was just over &lt;a href=""&gt;154,000 votes&lt;/a&gt;. In Wayne County, where Dearborn is located, as well as Oakland County, where Arab Americans also make up a significant share of the population, voters &lt;a href=""&gt;backed him&lt;/a&gt; at rates of about 69 and 56 percent, respectively. &lt;/p&gt;
  22. &lt;p id="IXnATO"&gt;Those days, however, are over. Biden is currently losing to former &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;President Donald Trump&lt;/a&gt; in &lt;a href=""&gt;seven major polls &lt;/a&gt;conducted in Michigan since the beginning of the war. There are multiple reasons for that, including &lt;a href=""&gt;falling support&lt;/a&gt; in the powerful auto workers &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;union&lt;/a&gt;, which endorsed Biden glaringly late in the game this year, but Arab Americans and young progressive voters in the state have also cited Gaza as an important factor, and &lt;a href=""&gt;most Michiganders support a ceasefire&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  23. &lt;p id="7Vgm9a"&gt;Arab American officials in Michigan have become prominent critics of the US’s support for Israel’s campaign, which has killed &lt;a href=""&gt;about 30,000 Palestinians&lt;/a&gt; since the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;October 7 attack&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Hamas&lt;/a&gt;. The mayor of Dearborn — Abdullah Hammoud, who has Lebanese ancestry — &lt;a href=""&gt;wrote in an op-ed&lt;/a&gt; in the New York Times Wednesday that “We don’t have to imagine the violence and injustice being carried out against the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Palestinian&lt;/a&gt; people. Many of us lived it, and still bear the scars of life under occupation and apartheid.” US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), the only Palestinian member of &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Congress&lt;/a&gt;, has explicitly told voters not to support Biden.&lt;/p&gt;
  24. &lt;div id="cwaxtc"&gt;
  25. &lt;blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-dnt="true" align="center"&gt;
  26. &lt;p lang="en" dir="ltr"&gt;NEW ENDORSEMENT: “If you want us to be louder, come here and vote uncommitted.” -&lt;a href=""&gt;@RashidaTlaib&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— #ListenToMichigan (@Listen2michigan) &lt;a href=""&gt;February 17, 2024&lt;/a&gt;
  27. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  28. &lt;script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
  30. &lt;/div&gt;
  31. &lt;p id="KzzC1F"&gt;Tlaib’s sister, Layla Elabed, is now heading up the “Listen to Michigan” campaign to encourage at least &lt;a href=""&gt;10,000 Michiganders&lt;/a&gt; to vote “uncommitted” in support of a ceasefire in Gaza. Now endorsed by progressive organizations including &lt;a href=""&gt;Our Revolution &lt;/a&gt;and the &lt;a href=""&gt;Democratic Socialists of America&lt;/a&gt;, the campaign has been conducting text and phone banking, buying digital ads, knocking on doors, and sending out mailers throughout Michigan. &lt;/p&gt;
  32. &lt;p id="Xt6tMs"&gt;“This is a protest vote against genocide,” Elabed said. “The resounding sense in a lot of Arab American communities and Muslim American communities is that our voices don’t matter here. And our lives don’t matter abroad.”&lt;/p&gt;
  33. &lt;p id="pu7QCZ"&gt;Even if the organizers of the uncommitted campaign succeed, they won’t affect Biden’s chances of securing his party’s nomination. But depending on how large the uncommitted vote is in Michigan, it could spell trouble for Biden in the fall, should Arab Americans and their allies stay home or cast a ballot for Trump in a state Biden, &lt;a href=""&gt;currently in a tight contest nationally&lt;/a&gt;, will likely need to win. &lt;/p&gt;
  34. &lt;h3 id="gR6p9O"&gt;Biden has faltered on Arab American outreach &lt;/h3&gt;
  35. &lt;p id="wSX1DP"&gt;The uncommitted campaign is the product of what Arab American leaders say is the White House’s failure to listen to them and address their concerns through traditional outreach channels. Since October, Arab American leaders have been trying to no avail to get an audience with Biden to voice their concerns about the war, said Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, who grew up in Dearborn. &lt;/p&gt;
  36. &lt;p id="Y7HT25"&gt;Biden &lt;a href=""&gt;quietly hosted&lt;/a&gt; a group of five Muslim leaders in late October at the White House, where they told him that he had failed to show empathy for the acute suffering in Gaza. But that was seen as a slight by the ethnic constituency of Arab Americans, who are also Christian, Druze, Jewish, Mandaen, and other faiths, as well as secular, Berry said. And in February, Biden &lt;a href=""&gt;skipped a scheduled stop in Dearborn&lt;/a&gt; while visiting Michigan, instead meeting with auto workers in the Detroit metro area.&lt;/p&gt;
  37. &lt;p id="jEwqkS"&gt;“For months, we’ve been asking for meaningful engagement on policy, and, frankly, are being ignored,” Berry said.&lt;/p&gt;
  38. &lt;p id="vObWkH"&gt;The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee did not respond to requests for comment.&lt;/p&gt;
  39. &lt;p id="XydoLm"&gt;Officials from the Biden campaign and the White House, as well as Biden surrogates, have visited Michigan multiple times in the last two months with the intent of smoothing things over with the Arab American community. In January, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez &lt;a href=""&gt;held small meetings &lt;/a&gt;with some Arab American leaders after others made clear that they were too angry to be open to dialogue in a planned larger meeting. And even after adjusting the plan, there was one meeting in which all 10 to 15 people invited declined to attend in protest. &lt;/p&gt;
  40. &lt;p id="mRFDki"&gt;To Elabed, the fact that Biden sent his campaign manager to Michigan signaled that he was more interested in securing Arab American votes than talking “about how this failed policy is affecting our communities,” she said. &lt;/p&gt;
  41. &lt;p id="Kv5TZ4"&gt;In February, a group of White House officials, including USAID administrator Samantha Power, also visited Michigan to highlight how the administration is trying to get humanitarian aid to Palestinians. In a closed-door meeting, deputy national security adviser Jon Finer &lt;a href=""&gt;reportedly admitted&lt;/a&gt; that the administration had “misstepped in the course of responding to this crisis” and “left a very damaging impression, based on what has been a wholly inadequate public accounting for how much the president, the administration, the country values the lives of Palestinians.” &lt;/p&gt;
  42. &lt;p id="UMY1ht"&gt;Biden ally Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) — who supports a ceasefire in Gaza and cutting off further aid to Israel — &lt;a href=""&gt;met with Arab and Muslim leaders&lt;/a&gt; in Michigan earlier this month to talk about how to build support for their policy demands in Washington. &lt;/p&gt;
  43. &lt;p id="7DZYcm"&gt;But Elabed said it still doesn’t feel as though Biden is adequately responding to the concerns of the Arab American community. His sharpest critique of Israel’s campaign came only earlier this month, when he &lt;a href=",has%20%E2%80%9Cgot%20to%20stop.%E2%80%9D"&gt;said&lt;/a&gt; that it was “over the top” and that civilian suffering and death “had to stop.” Meanwhile, the US recently vetoed a ceasefire resolution at the United Nations for the third time since the start of the war. The Biden administration continues to push for a &lt;a href=""&gt;$14.1 billion supplemental aid package&lt;/a&gt; for Israel on top of the approximately &lt;a href=""&gt;$3.3 billion&lt;/a&gt; it already receives annually from the US, and is continuing to make &lt;a href=""&gt;major arms sales&lt;/a&gt; while offering unconditional military support to Israel. &lt;/p&gt;
  44. &lt;p id="sITeqk"&gt;“For Joe Biden to ignore the very communities that largely brought him Michigan in 2020 is a slap in the face,” Elabed said. “It does feel so dehumanizing that a party that I have supported my whole adult life is now ignoring the deaths and murder of my people and the destruction of my ancestral land.”&lt;/p&gt;
  45. &lt;h3 id="HCoOxW"&gt;Arab Americans say blame Biden if Trump wins a second term — not them&lt;/h3&gt;
  46. &lt;p id="Fkj26J"&gt;Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging voters in her state not to vote uncommitted. “It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that any vote that’s not cast for Joe Biden supports a second Trump term,” she said on Sunday during an interview on CNN’s &lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;State of the Union&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  47. &lt;p id="VvLde5"&gt;But many Arab American activists are arguing that Whitmer and others critiquing uncommitted voters should instead lay the blame at Biden’s feet.&lt;/p&gt;
  48. &lt;p id="yrLTMG"&gt;“If the outcome is that we have another Trump presidency, it is going to be Joe Biden and his administration and the Democratic Party that hands over the White House to the Trump administration,” Elabed said. “Because when you ignore your core constituency ... you have no one to blame but yourselves.”&lt;/p&gt;
  49. &lt;p id="bqqv3F"&gt;Many Arab American voters fear a second Trump presidency — not just on the issue of Gaza — and acknowledge that his foreign policy was disastrous for Palestinians and the Arab world, Berry said. &lt;/p&gt;
  50. &lt;p id="XAjzWn"&gt;He moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017 — a choice made in recognition of the fact that Israel had made unified Jerusalem its capital but a decidedly controversial one given that control of Jerusalem has historically been a key sticking point in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. The US &lt;a href=""&gt;recognized&lt;/a&gt; the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights under Trump and reaffirmed it under Biden. &lt;/p&gt;
  51. &lt;p id="9ypuGc"&gt;The Trump administration also argued in 2019 that Israeli settlements in the occupied &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;West Bank&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=""&gt;are not necessarily illegal&lt;/a&gt;, lending legitimacy to Israel’s claims on the territories, but the annexations and moves toward it are widely regarded as illegal under international law, and no other country has recognized them.&lt;/p&gt;
  52. &lt;p id="o9JbnQ"&gt;Trump also instituted a travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — including the Arab states of Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — that was &lt;a href=""&gt;struck down by the courts and later revived in a different iteration&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  53. &lt;p id="GfVnQa"&gt;None of this is news to Arab American voters. But activists argue it’s still hard for them to justify voting for Biden when the Biden administration has in their minds failed to adequately push back on the slaughter of Palestinians after October 7.&lt;/p&gt;
  54. &lt;p id="44UgcZ"&gt;“We fought back for those four years,” Abed Ayoub, national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said. “We pushed back and we found ways to fight back against [Trump’s] policies. But the one thing we didn’t have was a genocide.”&lt;/p&gt;
  55. &lt;p id="PAnjq3"&gt;Berry said her organization is pushing hard to ensure that Arab Americans don’t just sit this election out as a result of anger with Biden, which she said is not how the community’s best interests are served, but isn’t encouraging that they vote any particular way. The alternatives include voting for third-party candidates or casting a ballot for Trump. Many Iraqi Chaldean Christians in Michigan’s Macomb and Oakland counties already backed him in 2020, when he promised to &lt;a href=""&gt;shield them from deportation&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  56. &lt;p id="jAb27I"&gt;Ayoub said he himself doesn’t think Trump is the right option. But given what he’s been hearing from Arab and Muslim voters, he said they’re willing to consider him. &lt;/p&gt;
  57. &lt;p id="70GAXE"&gt;“We’ll speak to [Trump]. And if he does the right moves in the campaign ... we don’t mind voting for him,” Ayoub said. “Those dead family members, those dead bodies, those images we’re seeing ... That’s enough for them to say, give me a few bad tweets and a few mean words and let my family members live.”&lt;/p&gt;
  58. &lt;h3 id="ZvS7Jf"&gt;What does all of this really mean, in Michigan and nationally?&lt;/h3&gt;
  59. &lt;p id="8LPOB5"&gt;The &lt;a href=""&gt;national contest&lt;/a&gt; between Biden and Trump, who is all but assured the GOP nomination, is tight. As one of &lt;a href=""&gt;six major battleground states &lt;/a&gt;in 2024, Michigan could determine the outcome of the election overall, and Biden can’t afford any significant splintering of his coalition there.&lt;/p&gt;
  60. &lt;p id="pTMmv8"&gt;The Arab American community in Michigan is small, making up slightly over 1 percent of the state’s population of 10 million. And outside the Arab American community, there are “not that many” voters who disagree with Biden’s policies in Gaza and even fewer are “so motivated in their anger against Biden that they would vote uncommitted in a Democratic primary,” Bill Ballenger, a longtime political pundit in Michigan, said.&lt;/p&gt;
  61. &lt;p id="Yv9c57"&gt;But if the margins in Michigan are anywhere as close as they were in 2020 and 2016, “maybe the loss of support in the Arab American community could spell the difference between victory and defeat for Biden,” Ballenger said. “No wonder he’s worried.”&lt;/p&gt;
  62. &lt;p id="Id0mhf"&gt;And while the war in Gaza looms large in Michigan because of its large Arab American community, it’s an issue that has resonated nationally among Arab Americans, who also have sizable and growing communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia. The movement to abandon Biden over his stance on Gaza has already &lt;a href=",campaign%20in%20Pennsylvania%20on%20Monday.&amp;amp;text=The%20national%20"&gt;spread to some of those states&lt;/a&gt;, and his campaign is struggling to &lt;a href=""&gt;secure surrogates and endorsements &lt;/a&gt;that could help bridge the gap with Arab Americans and young progressives. Nationally, &lt;a href=""&gt;Biden’s support among Arab American voters&lt;/a&gt; has fallen from 59 in 2020 to 17 percent after the war in Gaza broke out in October. &lt;/p&gt;
  63. &lt;p id="uyiNnY"&gt;Democrats generally have also increasingly turned against the war in Gaza. About half of 2020 Biden voters said that they believe Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in a &lt;a href=""&gt;February poll&lt;/a&gt; by YouGov/The Economist. &lt;/p&gt;
  64. &lt;p id="qbYOzC"&gt;That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll decide how to vote based on Biden’s response to the war; the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;economy&lt;/a&gt; remains a &lt;a href=""&gt;bipartisan priority for voters&lt;/a&gt;, and Democrats also &lt;a href=""&gt;cite&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;health care&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;climate change&lt;/a&gt;, poverty, racism, &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;abortion&lt;/a&gt;, and women’s rights as top concerns. Biden is pushing the progress he’s made on the economy and trying to draw a sharp contrast with Trump on these other issues so far. But the number of uncommitted voters in Michigan could signal just how deep Democratic discontent is.&lt;/p&gt;
  65. &lt;p id="IIhhcj"&gt;“This is not only isolated to Arab or Muslim voters in Michigan,” Ayoub said.&lt;/p&gt;
  66. &lt;p id="obUtz3"&gt;&lt;em&gt;Haleema Shah contributed reporting to this article.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  67. &lt;p id="YHznJg"&gt;&lt;em&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Clarification, February 27, 10:30 am:&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/em&gt;&lt;em&gt; This story has been updated to clarify Abed Ayoub’s views and those of Arab American voters. &lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  69. </content>
  70.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  71.    <id></id>
  72.    <author>
  73.      <name>Nicole Narea</name>
  74.    </author>
  75.  </entry>
  76.  <entry>
  77.    <published>2024-02-27T19:30:09-05:00</published>
  78.    <updated>2024-02-27T19:30:09-05:00</updated>
  79.    <title>Do 1 in 5 Americans really believe Taylor Swift is in cahoots with Biden?        </title>
  80.    <content type="html">  
  82.    &lt;figure&gt;
  83.      &lt;img alt="Taylor Swift in front of a sign for the Taylor Swift Education Center" src="" /&gt;
  84.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Taylor Swift at the opening of the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 12, 2013. | Royce DeGrie/TAS/Getty Images for TAS&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  85.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  87.  &lt;p&gt;The real reach of the conspiracy theory surrounding the pop star, explained.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="IBjX0H"&gt;Are Joe Biden and Taylor Swift working in cahoots? The late-night host Seth Meyers posed the question &lt;a href=";amp;t=230"&gt;directly to the president&lt;/a&gt; Monday night, asking him to “confirm or deny that there is an active conspiracy” between him and the pop superstar.&lt;/p&gt;
  88. &lt;p id="HyMcCy"&gt;“Where are you getting this information?” Biden responded. “It’s classified.”&lt;/p&gt;
  89. &lt;p id="WjCJAA"&gt;The two were joking about the latest conspiracy theory that’s been bubbling under the surface for the last few weeks — that Swift, her tremendous popularity, and her saturated media coverage in the lead-up to the Super Bowl (she’s dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce) is somehow a government psyop to influence American minds into supporting Biden’s reelection effort.&lt;/p&gt;
  90. &lt;p id="mODIQc"&gt;The theory has bounced around the conservative media echo chamber and even garnered some mainstream coverage. After being promoted on Fox News by &lt;a href=""&gt;host Jesse Watters&lt;/a&gt;, it spawned a field day of coverage on &lt;a href=""&gt;network news&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;daytime talk shows&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href=""&gt;national radio&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  91. &lt;p id="qL3Cmp"&gt;It’s unclear what the origin of this conspiracy theory is, but one poll helped boost its reach. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, Monmouth University asked whether respondents had heard about the idea of Swift being involved in a “covert government effort to help Joe Biden win the presidential election” and “Do you think that a covert government effort for Taylor Swift to help Joe Biden win the presidential election actually exists, or not?”&lt;/p&gt;
  92. &lt;p id="4azjCm"&gt;Thus did a viral conspiracy-theory joke — it’s still unclear how serious it ever was — go fully mainstream, all the way to a late-night TV show and the president himself. &lt;/p&gt;
  93. &lt;h3 id="dadQpG"&gt;The treacherous slope of a Taylor Swift poll &lt;/h3&gt;
  94. &lt;p id="wOjivh"&gt;Here’s the thing about polls: Many times, they don’t really tell us what we think they’re telling us. Sometimes we have to peer deeper to find out what they’re actually saying. &lt;/p&gt;
  95. &lt;p id="wwgED5"&gt;The actual Swift conspiracy theory isn’t one unified concept. As my colleagues at Vox have &lt;a href=""&gt;explained before&lt;/a&gt;, it’s actually a whole bunch of ideas about Swift and her popularity being somehow artificially engineered and a sign of some covert effort to influence minds. &lt;/p&gt;
  96. &lt;p id="NcDtCC"&gt;The idea of this being political was made more popular in elite right-wing spaces — pushed by failed GOP presidential candidates on social media and Jesse Watters in primetime, all to suggest that Swift is part of a psychological operation being used by the Pentagon or the federal government to convince her followers to support Democrats like Biden. &lt;/p&gt;
  97. &lt;p id="Zj00Bk"&gt;For many people, the &lt;a href=""&gt;Monmouth poll’s findings&lt;/a&gt; were jarring. Some 18 percent of respondents said that yes, they did believe that a “covert government effort for Taylor Swift to help Joe Biden win the presidential election” existed.&lt;/p&gt;
  98. &lt;p id="6cqSw6"&gt;That number mostly consists of who you might expect: 71 percent of believers identify as Republicans, and an even greater percentage, 83 percent, say they’ll likely back Trump this fall. And the numbers for those who had heard of this kind of conspiracy theory at all were similarly eye-opening: 46 percent of Americans had been exposed to the idea.&lt;/p&gt;
  99. &lt;p id="hwIBRN"&gt;No wonder the results went viral.&lt;/p&gt;
  100. &lt;p id="xykHQv"&gt;But dig a little deeper and the poll results can start to make you question your priors. A decent chunk of those who said they believed in the theory were actually unaware of it before Monmouth contacted them, leading to a fundamental question: How many believers actually “believe” in such a conspiracy theory? &lt;/p&gt;
  101. &lt;p id="HZQczx"&gt;With any poll of wacky ideas, it’s important to keep in mind the concept of the “Lizardman’s Constant” — the idea that a certain number of people being polled on a weird topic will probably not answer sincerely — and that asking questions on more ridiculous topics will probably get you more ridiculous answers.&lt;/p&gt;
  102. &lt;p id="P69vxR"&gt;There are two poll results that should cause some introspection. First, among those who believe Taylor Swift is a pro-Biden psyop, 42 percent had not heard of the conspiracy theory before Monmouth contacted them. And of those who were previously aware of it, it turns out more were Democrats (56 percent of them) than Republicans (46 percent). &lt;/p&gt;
  103. &lt;p id="OUQvNF"&gt;Though the Swift psyop conspiracy theory may have originated among conservatives, it appears to have spread more widely through liberal and Democratic social networks and mainstream media — like through mainstream coverage of right-wing media, and eventually coverage of the poll and Meyer’s Biden interview. According to Patrick Murray, Monmouth’s polling director, that’s a significant detail, since it’s showing how viral ideas spread.&lt;/p&gt;
  104. &lt;p id="0rcq6i"&gt;“Democrats are more likely to be aware of it than Republicans, I think in part because the idea [that Republicans believe this] has gotten more currency on the left,” Murray told me. So it’s not that Democrats believe the theory, “but they’re hearing more about this, and in turn they’re actually talking about it more.”&lt;/p&gt;
  105. &lt;p id="UEoWQJ"&gt;At the same time, the poll indicates that although comparatively fewer Republicans have heard about this conspiracy theory, they are much more likely to believe it to be true — about a third of respondents who believe the theory are Republicans. That doesn’t mean that they’re all in agreement about the specifics of this supposed deep-state operation. But it does suggest a kind of rally-around-the-flag effect for Republicans — who may be more willing to “incorporate this in some way, shape, or form into their belief system” about American politics, pop culture, and media, according to Murray.&lt;/p&gt;
  106. &lt;p id="aA0fdw"&gt;That idea also frames that 42 percent of people who said the conspiracy exists but also said they hadn’t even heard of the idea before pollsters contacted them. They could be the kind of people who genuinely believe in a conspiracy. They could also be the kind of people who are communicating an emotion — not that Taylor Swift is literally an agent of the deep state, but that she is a stand-in for a worldview suspicious of American politics, loyal to Trump, and believe the system is “rigged.”&lt;/p&gt;
  107. &lt;p id="2ToKdB"&gt;Murray said that this cohort skews Republican and that some respondents might not have known what they were agreeing to, but responded affirmatively because that’s what fit with their partisan loyalty.&lt;/p&gt;
  108. &lt;p id="7lh9AQ"&gt;“There’s always going to be an element of ‘To what extent are you agreeing with something because you wholeheartedly believe every aspect of it or because it helps further an agenda that you have?’” he said.&lt;/p&gt;
  109. &lt;p id="5F0thB"&gt;There’s a comparison to be drawn here with how people respond to polls about the economy, Murray suggested. “How you feel about your own economic situation has a lot more to do with politics now than it ever has. The lens through which people view their own economic situation has a lot more to do with their political identity than it does with their actual financial stability.” &lt;/p&gt;
  110. &lt;div id="MvcjgW"&gt;
  111. &lt;blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-dnt="true" align="center"&gt;
  112. &lt;p lang="en" dir="ltr"&gt;I reckon a high percentage of respondents would still say yes if you substituted Taylor Swift's name with practically any other celebrity &lt;a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— G Elliott Morris (@gelliottmorris) &lt;a href=""&gt;February 19, 2024&lt;/a&gt;
  113. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  114. &lt;script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
  116. &lt;/div&gt;
  117. &lt;h3 id="GuUIwa"&gt;Wacky questions bring out wacky respondents&lt;/h3&gt;
  118. &lt;p id="zersFW"&gt;And finally, there’s the Lizardman’s Constant: Some number of these Swift psyop believers might be messing with the poll. &lt;/p&gt;
  119. &lt;p id="Nuwj9G"&gt;Lakshya Jain, an analyst at the election modeling website Split Ticket, is one of the election watchers who was skeptical of the poll. He said the survey reminded him of the discourse around Public Policy Polling’s &lt;a href=""&gt;conspiracy theory research in 2013&lt;/a&gt; that found a not insignificant number of Americans believing a slate of wacky ideas, like whether shape-shifting lizard people exist, whether Barack Obama was the Antichrist, and whether the moon landing was faked. &lt;/p&gt;
  120. &lt;p id="tf2v6j"&gt;That poll spawned the concept of the Lizardman’s Constant on Scott Alexander’s blog &lt;a href=""&gt;Slate Star Codex&lt;/a&gt; — the idea that in any given poll, a percentage of responses are not actually genuine. According to Alexander, Lizardman’s Constant tends to be 4 percent — the number you should subtract a wacky result by to get closer to the truth.&lt;/p&gt;
  121. &lt;p id="2W0OfE"&gt;“What we see is that if you ask any weird question, you’ll get a substantial portion of people agreeing to this kind of weird response,” Jain told me. “But if you ask obviously ridiculous questions in a survey, you’re going to get some people who agree.”&lt;/p&gt;
  122. &lt;p id="RKp4ru"&gt;Pollsters do a lot of work to correct for that possible error, but it’s a helpful idea to keep in mind when looking at Taylor Swift conspiracy poll results. The actual number of Swift Psyop Believers might not actually be 18 percent of Americans.&lt;/p&gt;
  123. &lt;p id="g99NNH"&gt;But whether the number of true believers is 18 percent or 14 percent or 10 percent, the idea is out there — enough that even the president is leaning into it, and maybe feeding the conspiracy even more.&lt;/p&gt;
  125. </content>
  126.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  127.    <id></id>
  128.    <author>
  129.      <name>Christian Paz</name>
  130.    </author>
  131.  </entry>
  132.  <entry>
  133.    <published>2024-02-27T15:50:00-05:00</published>
  134.    <updated>2024-02-27T15:50:00-05:00</updated>
  135.    <title>Winter heat waves are now a thing. Here’s how to make sense of them.</title>
  136.    <content type="html">  
  138.    &lt;figure&gt;
  139.      &lt;img alt="A firefighter is trying to put out a fire in the Cuemanco Ecological Park in Xochimilco, Mexico City." src="" /&gt;
  140.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Wildfires continue to burn in Mexico, the US, and Canada amid unusually warm winter weather.  | Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  141.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  143.  &lt;p&gt;2024 is already shattering heat records as temperatures soar around the world&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="yTgIHX"&gt;After last year was the &lt;a href=""&gt;warmest on record&lt;/a&gt;, 2024 is already off to a ripping hot start. &lt;/p&gt;
  144. &lt;p id="F09OOI"&gt;January 2024 was the &lt;a href=""&gt;warmest January ever measured&lt;/a&gt;, and February is &lt;a href=""&gt;likely to follow&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  145. &lt;div id="IIfD2J"&gt;
  146. &lt;blockquote class="twitter-tweet"&gt;
  147. &lt;p lang="en" dir="ltr"&gt;Global temperatures have fallen back below record levels in recent days, but February 2024 remains the odds-on favorite to be the warmest February on record: &lt;a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) &lt;a href=""&gt;February 21, 2024&lt;/a&gt;
  148. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  149. &lt;script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
  151. &lt;/div&gt;
  152. &lt;p id="VQI5il"&gt;Many parts of the world are experiencing unprecedented heat — both in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s summer, and in the Northern Hemisphere, where it’s winter. &lt;/p&gt;
  153. &lt;p id="wicmje"&gt;The list of countries is varied and far-reaching: &lt;a href=""&gt;Japan&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;Kenya&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;Nigeria&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;Brazil&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;Thailand&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;Australia&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href=""&gt;Spain&lt;/a&gt; have all experienced extreme or record-breaking temperatures in the past few weeks. The US, which experienced a &lt;a href=""&gt;bitter cold snap&lt;/a&gt; across much of the country in January, is now setting new highs in the &lt;a href=""&gt;Midwest&lt;/a&gt; and the &lt;a href=""&gt;South&lt;/a&gt;. Wildfires have ignited in &lt;a href=""&gt;Texas&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=""&gt;Colorado&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href=""&gt;Nebraska&lt;/a&gt;, sending smoke plumes toward the East Coast. There are even wildfires burning &lt;a href=""&gt;underground in Canada&lt;/a&gt; that initially erupted during the &lt;a href=""&gt;record-wildfire season&lt;/a&gt; last year. &lt;/p&gt;
  154. &lt;div id="YGwQVo"&gt;
  155. &lt;blockquote class="twitter-tweet"&gt;
  156. &lt;p lang="en" dir="ltr"&gt;The magenta dots... they are all monthly record highs (breaks or ties). Remarkable. &lt;a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) &lt;a href=""&gt;February 27, 2024&lt;/a&gt;
  157. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  158. &lt;script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
  160. &lt;/div&gt;
  161. &lt;p id="FuFmXf"&gt;Even the oceans are at &lt;a href=""&gt;never-before-seen temperatures&lt;/a&gt;, which portends &lt;a href=""&gt;more danger&lt;/a&gt; for corals and could fuel more intense hurricanes.  &lt;/p&gt;
  162. &lt;p id="SkmV2F"&gt;If the current conditions seem to echo the extreme weather storylines of 2023, that’s because many of the factors behind them remain in place. The world is still in the grips of &lt;a href=""&gt;El Niño&lt;/a&gt;, the warm phase of the Pacific Ocean’s temperature cycle. &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;El Niño&lt;/a&gt; tends to amplify warming around the world, particularly between November and March — and this El Niño is especially strong. The warm ocean water near the equator, which has been about &lt;a href=""&gt;3.2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the average&lt;/a&gt;, also leads to more evaporation and thus more rainfall, energizing the &lt;a href=""&gt;atmospheric rivers&lt;/a&gt; that have drenched the West Coast and triggered floods this year. &lt;/p&gt;
  163. &lt;p id="i9unO7"&gt;And underneath it all, humans are continuing to pump heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere at an alarming rate by burning coal, oil, and &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;natural gas&lt;/a&gt;, lifting carbon dioxide concentrations up to &lt;a href=""&gt;levels never seen by humans&lt;/a&gt; and not experienced on Earth for millions of years. &lt;/p&gt;
  164. &lt;p id="ByRtFy"&gt;The warm weather we’re seeing now is directly in line with what scientists expect as the planet heats up, and conditions once seen as extreme will become far more common in the coming decades. &lt;/p&gt;
  165. &lt;h3 id="zCwymh"&gt;Some of strongest climate change effects manifest in the winter&lt;/h3&gt;
  166. &lt;p id="3KyWG1"&gt;Earth’s warming due to &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;climate change&lt;/a&gt; isn’t spread evenly across the globe or throughout the year. Polar regions are warming up to &lt;a href=""&gt;four times as fast&lt;/a&gt; as the rest of the world, for instance.&lt;/p&gt;
  167. &lt;p id="8NfLvs"&gt;Further away from the poles, wintertime is heating up fast. In the US, many northern states are seeing winters warm twice as fast as summers, according to the fifth &lt;a href=""&gt;National Climate Assessment&lt;/a&gt; report, published last year.&lt;/p&gt;
  168.  &lt;figure class="e-image"&gt;
  169.        &lt;img alt="Map of global temperature anomalies on February 27, 2024" data-mask-text="false" src=""&gt;
  170.      &lt;cite&gt;Climate Reanalyzer&lt;/cite&gt;
  171.      &lt;figcaption&gt;Much of the world is experiencing above-average temperatures, with some of the biggest changes in the Northern Hemisphere.&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  172.  &lt;/figure&gt;
  173. &lt;p id="RPFfUM"&gt;One reason winters are heating up faster is that cooler, drier winter air tends to have a stronger, more consequential response to temperature increases. Every rise in air temperature of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit means another 7 percent more moisture retained. So, starting from a dry and frigid baseline, increasing humidity in the air leads to relatively more heat trapped near the ground, raising temperatures. &lt;/p&gt;
  174. &lt;p id="Ajagqg"&gt;Another way climate change affects winter is precipitation. When temperatures rise above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it leads to more rain than snow. Regions like the Western US rely on snow accumulation in the mountains to store water for use throughout the year, and more rain than snow can mean more flooding in the winter and drought in the summer. On the other hand, if air temperatures rise but stay below freezing, that can lead to more snowfall since there is more water in the air. &lt;/p&gt;
  175. &lt;h3 id="SuJOj5"&gt;The Southern Hemisphere’s summers are getting more intense&lt;/h3&gt;
  176. &lt;p id="gC5PzC"&gt;It’s been a &lt;a href=""&gt;searingly hot summer&lt;/a&gt; south of the equator, and the region also had an unusually warm winter. Cities like &lt;a href=""&gt;Buenos Aires, Argentina&lt;/a&gt;, saw their hottest winter months in more than a century. In Australia, it was the &lt;a href=""&gt;hottest winter ever recorded&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  177. &lt;p id="HDchAf"&gt;The Southern Hemisphere has some different dynamics from the Northern Hemisphere. The big one is that there is proportionately more ocean than land in the south. Oceans absorb heat and act as buffers against big temperature swings, so winters usually don’t get too chilly and summers don’t often reach sweltering levels.&lt;/p&gt;
  178. &lt;p id="Ofk6Ng"&gt;But the world’s oceans have been &lt;a href=""&gt;unusually warm&lt;/a&gt; since last year, and that’s helped maintain warm air over land masses in the Southern Hemisphere. And South America in particular is in the line of fire for El Niño. The region has already experienced both &lt;a href=""&gt;extensive flooding and drought&lt;/a&gt; fueled by warmer water off the Pacific coast, leading to shifting rainfall patterns. &lt;/p&gt;
  179. &lt;p id="jTrnsu"&gt;The heat has also contributed to wildfires across the continent. In Chile, wildfires have already killed &lt;a href=""&gt;more than 120 people&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  180. &lt;h3 id="AQjF48"&gt;It’s hot underwater too&lt;/h3&gt;
  181. &lt;p id="xWycXk"&gt;The world’s oceans near the equator right now remain at &lt;a href=""&gt;record high temperatures&lt;/a&gt;. Water temperatures have topped &lt;a href=",in%20at%20least%20a%20century"&gt;90 degrees Fahrenheit&lt;/a&gt; in regions like the Caribbean. In addition to absorbing heat, oceans soak up close to &lt;a href=""&gt;30 percent&lt;/a&gt; of humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions.  &lt;/p&gt;
  182. &lt;p id="GkKLqB"&gt;The combination of higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide is changing the chemistry of the water. In recent months, this has threatened fragile ecosystems like &lt;a href=""&gt;coral reefs&lt;/a&gt;. Off the Florida Keys, corals suffered &lt;a href=""&gt;mass bleaching events and die-offs&lt;/a&gt; driven by marine heat waves. &lt;/p&gt;
  183. &lt;p id="2fgTI8"&gt;The warm waters have reached as far south as Antarctica, which saw a &lt;a href=""&gt;record low extent&lt;/a&gt; of sea ice last year. As summer has picked up, sea ice around the southern continent is &lt;a href=""&gt;no longer&lt;/a&gt; at absolute record low levels but still far below what’s typical. &lt;/p&gt;
  184. &lt;p id="vBW6z2"&gt;Antarctica is important because it influences both the ocean and the sky. As the waters around it freeze and thaw, and as its glaciers melt into the sea, the region alters how nutrients flow in ocean currents and shapes clouds and rainfall &lt;a href=""&gt;around the world&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  185. &lt;p id="owWEGZ"&gt;The looming question is whether 2024 will reach new temperature highs over the rest of the year. El Niño is likely to persist until April, but it’s not clear how much the planet will cool down afterward. NOAA &lt;a href=""&gt;projected&lt;/a&gt; that there’s a 22 percent chance that 2024 will be the new hottest year on record, and a 99 percent chance it will rank in the top five. &lt;/p&gt;
  187. </content>
  188.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  189.    <id></id>
  190.    <author>
  191.      <name>Umair Irfan</name>
  192.    </author>
  193.  </entry>
  194.  <entry>
  195.    <published>2024-02-27T15:40:33-05:00</published>
  196.    <updated>2024-02-27T15:40:33-05:00</updated>
  197.    <title>What’s happening to our winters?</title>
  198.    <content type="html">  
  200.    &lt;figure&gt;
  201.      &lt;img alt="An aerial view of a ski slope operating with a small amount of snow during an unusually high-temperature day in Zakopane, Poland, on February 16, 2024." src="" /&gt;
  202.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Omar Marques/Anadolu via Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  203.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  205.  &lt;p id="jyrsEu"&gt;This winter has been unseasonably hot. In fact, last month the world experienced its &lt;a href=""&gt;warmest January ever measured&lt;/a&gt;, and February is &lt;a href=""&gt;likely to continue&lt;/a&gt; that streak.&lt;/p&gt;
  206. &lt;p id="UF2C3i"&gt;This rise in temperatures is not isolated to any one part of the world. It’s happening everywhere, like in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s summer, and in the Northern Hemisphere, where it’s winter. Even the oceans are at &lt;a href=""&gt;never-before-seen temperatures&lt;/a&gt;, which portends &lt;a href=""&gt;more danger&lt;/a&gt; for corals and could fuel more intense hurricanes and typhoons. As temperatures rise, ocean waters warm, providing fuel for storms. It’s a mix that makes hurricanes more intense and unpredictable.  &lt;/p&gt;
  207. &lt;p id="7f7cf0"&gt;The stories below reveal how our winters are changing — and fast. Follow here for the latest news, analysis, and explainers on how winter is losing its cool.&lt;/p&gt;
  209. </content>
  210.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  211.    <id></id>
  212.    <author>
  213.      <name>Umair Irfan</name>
  214.      <name>Michael Venutolo-Mantovani</name>
  215.      <name>Anna North</name>
  216.      <name>Benji Jones</name>
  217.    </author>
  218.  </entry>
  219.  <entry>
  220.    <published>2024-02-27T10:27:00-05:00</published>
  221.    <updated>2024-02-27T10:27:00-05:00</updated>
  222.    <title>Why the Palestinian Authority’s government dissolved</title>
  223.    <content type="html">  
  225.    &lt;figure&gt;
  226.      &lt;img alt=" left, with a portrait of Abbas seen at the right.  " src="" /&gt;
  227.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh stands next to a portrait of the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas on February 26, 2024, amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. | Zain Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  228.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  230.  &lt;p&gt;Its prime minister resigned, but it doesn’t change much.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="LDQknX"&gt;Mohammad Shtayyeh, the prime minister of the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Palestinian&lt;/a&gt; Authority (PA), nominally the group in charge of Palestinian parts of the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;West Bank&lt;/a&gt;, tendered his resignation and dissolved the PA government Monday. But Shtayyeh’s decision might not hold much weight in the face of an ossified organization, led by 88-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, facing an uncertain postwar future.&lt;/p&gt;
  231. &lt;p id="VwrVRg"&gt;The PA has been the representative of the Palestinian people on the world stage since the 1990s. Abbas took over in 2004, but a combination of corrupt leadership, Israeli aggression and expansionist &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;policies&lt;/a&gt;, and the power struggle between the PA and &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Hamas&lt;/a&gt; has diminished the organization’s power — and its legitimacy in the eyes of Palestinians. &lt;/p&gt;
  232. &lt;p id="L6kPXP"&gt;The PA remains an important organization internationally, including to the US government. In discussions about the Occupied Palestinian Territories’ status after &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Israel&lt;/a&gt;’s war on &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Gaza&lt;/a&gt;, the US has advocated for the PA to be the governing authority in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem once the months-old war in Gaza is over, putting renewed focus on the organization. But both the US and Arab nations have pushed for change within the PA, arguing that it needs to institute reforms and hold elections that will renew its legitimacy among Palestinians. &lt;/p&gt;
  233. &lt;p id="moPZSH"&gt;Shtayyeh’s resignation appears to be a step toward heeding international pressure. As he told his cabinet Monday, the “next stage and its challenges requires new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in the Gaza Strip ... the urgent need for an inter-Palestinian [national] consensus  ...  and the extension of the [PA’s] authority over the entire territory of Palestine,” the &lt;a href=""&gt;Financial Times reported&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  234. &lt;p id="tUVU4O"&gt;&lt;a href=""&gt;Shtayyeh&lt;/a&gt; will remain on in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed, which could take weeks. Abbas is expected to appoint Mohammad Mustafa, a World Bank economist and one of his close compatriots, as prime minister. &lt;/p&gt;
  235. &lt;p id="GLVl8d"&gt;But Shtayyeh’s resignation won’t necessarily trigger the changes that both external and internal stakeholders are asking for, diminished executive power among them. And there’s no sense of when Israel’s current war in Gaza will end — or what will happen to the people living there when it does. So while Shtayyeh’s resignation may signal an acknowledgment that Palestinian representation must change, it likely won’t mean any material change in the short term, either for the PA or for the Palestinian people overall.&lt;/p&gt;
  236. &lt;h3 id="XmIDNS"&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Who is Shtayyeh in the Palestinian political landscape?&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/h3&gt;
  237. &lt;p id="F2wOF3"&gt;The PA was set up in the 1990s during the Oslo Accords — ostensibly the first stage of negotiations to Palestinian self-rule, though no mechanism for further negotiations or a final outcome was decided and a future Palestinian state was not specified. &lt;/p&gt;
  238. &lt;p id="534z0X"&gt;At that time, the PA was led by Palestine Liberation Organization Chair Yasser Arafat. It was technically the governing authority over the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem from 1994 until 2006, although Israel occupied Gaza until 2005 and Arafat was &lt;a href=""&gt;under house arrest&lt;/a&gt; during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s. But Hamas won a parliamentary majority in the 2006 elections, eventually leading to a civil war between the PA and Hamas, and Hamas taking over Gaza in 2007. &lt;/p&gt;
  239. &lt;p id="oIfoEb"&gt;In the intervening years, Abbas’s government has come to be viewed &lt;a href=""&gt;as corrupt and a tool of the Israeli occupation&lt;/a&gt;, in part because Israel now controls much of the West Bank, as well as access to PA tax revenue. &lt;/p&gt;
  240. &lt;p id="fDKW4Z"&gt;As prime minister, Shtayyeh’s role is to convene the PA government — that is, to organize and preside over meetings of the ministers of government agencies. These sessions are supposed to be approved by the Palestinian legislature, but it hasn’t met regularly since 2007, and the mandate of its elected members expired in 2010. That means that Abbas rules by decree in the areas of the West Bank where he actually has governing authority. &lt;/p&gt;
  241. &lt;p id="CCNk4j"&gt;Abbas appointed Shtayyeh to his current position in 2019, but he has been part of the PLO structure since 2009, when he was elected to the Fatah Central Committee. Fatah, to which Abbas also belongs, is one of the political parties comprising the PLO, and is the dominant force in the PA. &lt;/p&gt;
  242. &lt;p id="h75Nvb"&gt;Shtayyeh and Abbas are known to be close, though Shtayyeh has occasionally flouted the PA party line, &lt;a href=""&gt;exiting political negotiations with the US and Israel in 2014 &lt;/a&gt;over expanded Israeli settlements in the West Bank, for example. But for the most part, Shtayyeh is “part of that inner circle, Abbas’s inner circle — which is shrinking,” Khaled Elgindy, director of the Middle East Institute’s program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs, told Vox in an interview. “He’s survived, but it’s a low bar. He operates at the direction of the president, he’s not an independent PM like [Salam] Fayyad was. He’s more of a loyalist.”&lt;/p&gt;
  243. &lt;p id="UAT4nD"&gt;It’s possible, then, that Shtayyeh’s resignation comes at Abbas’s behest, so that Abbas can, at least superficially, appear to respond to the demand for change that is now coming from several fronts, both internally and externally. &lt;/p&gt;
  244. &lt;p id="fhRtxs"&gt;It’s also notable that the resignation comes ahead of planned negotiations for a unity government between Fatah and Hamas this week in Moscow, as well as an announcement from US &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;President Joe Biden&lt;/a&gt; that &lt;a href=""&gt;ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas&lt;/a&gt; are now showing promise. &lt;/p&gt;
  245. &lt;p id="IWBs3Q"&gt;Given those circumstances, Shtayyeh’s resignation could be read as a gesture to Hamas leadership, but “the resignation of Shtayyeh’s government only makes sense if it comes within the context of national consensus on arrangements for the next phase,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official, &lt;a href=""&gt;told Reuters&lt;/a&gt; Monday. &lt;/p&gt;
  246. &lt;h3 id="zRk1LJ"&gt;Shtayyeh’s resignation will change little in the short term&lt;/h3&gt;
  247. &lt;p id="Z9v3lE"&gt;The PA is desperately unpopular among Palestinians, for some of the reasons it and Abbas have been a satisfactory solution for the US and Western countries — mostly that it cooperates with the Israeli state and entrenches the status quo. &lt;/p&gt;
  248. &lt;p id="W6Ih0J"&gt;Abbas “is someone who never went to weddings or funerals, never shook hands or kissed babies,” Yezid Sayigh, senior fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, told Vox in an interview. “And so he basically hid behind his walls, and sought out international interlocutors and hoped that somehow the fact that he demonstrated time and again that he was committed to the Oslo framework and to security coordination with Israel would somehow buy him credit.”&lt;/p&gt;
  249. &lt;p id="wFl5SK"&gt;But Abbas’s government &lt;a href=""&gt;has almost no internal legitimacy&lt;/a&gt;, and its external legitimacy — particularly among Arab states supportive of a Palestinian state and increasingly within the US and the West — is failing. &lt;/p&gt;
  250. &lt;p id="JCwCnJ"&gt;Abbas “gets less popular every single day,” Elgindy said. “He’s overestimating his position here; he doesn’t have a strong hand domestically. He’s maybe banking on being the only game in town” for future Palestinian leadership. &lt;/p&gt;
  251. &lt;p id="gjskCy"&gt;Abbas has shown himself &lt;a href=""&gt;unwilling to name a potential successor&lt;/a&gt;, to cede executive power to a prime minister, to submit to elections, or to negotiate with Hamas to build a government that might be able to oversee the Occupied Palestinian Territories. All that means that regardless of who is prime minister, political conditions for Palestinians probably won’t change much as long as Abbas is still president and still the chair of the PLO. &lt;/p&gt;
  252. &lt;p id="gvjbmj"&gt;“The issue is and has been Abbas, not Shtayyeh,” Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Vox. And even if and when the PA forms a new technocratic government, as the US and Arab countries want, “most bureaucrats will be the same.”&lt;/p&gt;
  253. &lt;p id="eNIhCy"&gt;Though US and other external stakeholders hope the dissolution of the PA government will provide the change that they are looking for to govern the Palestinian territories in the future, several major hurdles beyond the PA internal politics remain, not the least of which is Israel’s opposition to PA involvement in a postwar scenario. In the past, Israeli Prime Minister &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Benjamin Netanyahu&lt;/a&gt; has vehemently opposed such a role for the PA; his &lt;a href=""&gt;new postwar game plan&lt;/a&gt; didn’t rule out the PA’s participation but &lt;a href=""&gt;didn’t expressly endorse it, either&lt;/a&gt;. Arab states that could fund Gaza’s reconstruction — namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE — won’t do so &lt;a href=""&gt;without an explicit path toward future Palestinian statehood&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  255. </content>
  256.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  257.    <id></id>
  258.    <author>
  259.      <name>Ellen Ioanes</name>
  260.    </author>
  261.  </entry>
  262.  <entry>
  263.    <published>2024-02-27T09:30:23-05:00</published>
  264.    <updated>2024-02-27T09:30:23-05:00</updated>
  265.    <title>Everything you need to know about finding mental health care</title>
  266.    <content type="html">  
  268.    &lt;figure&gt;
  269.      &lt;img alt="A drawing of a silhouetted head with its skull open like a lid. A disembodied hand is pulling a string from inside the tangle in the head." src="" /&gt;
  270.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  271.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  274.  &lt;p&gt;From choosing the right therapist to figuring out how to pay.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="84zQ0B"&gt;I wanted to start seeing a therapist long before I finally did. &lt;/p&gt;
  275. &lt;p id="ShPEQx"&gt;For many years, my biggest obstacle was a near-total lack of free time, then a lack of insurance coverage for &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;mental health&lt;/a&gt; care, then a range of positions that made seeking mental health care a &lt;a href=""&gt;professional liability&lt;/a&gt;. Even once I finally had a job with decent benefits and a list of therapists recommended by trusted friends, it took months to overcome another big obstacle to picking up the phone: my fear that during my first conversation with a prospective provider, I’d end up crying on the phone to a stranger. &lt;/p&gt;
  276. &lt;p id="htwsyd"&gt;I’m not alone. In scientific studies, people who’d benefit from mental health care&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/strong&gt;give rich and varied reasons for not seeking it, among them &lt;a href=""&gt;thinking it’s unnecessary&lt;/a&gt;, fear others will &lt;a href=""&gt;think less of them&lt;/a&gt; for getting it, and &lt;a href=",Cohen%20Veterans%20Network%2C%202018)."&gt;cost&lt;/a&gt;. At the same time, the US mental health care system isn’t structured to make treatment broadly available: Last year,&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/strong&gt;&lt;a href=""&gt;160 million Americans&lt;/a&gt; lived in areas with provider shortages and insurance denials, and in 2021,&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/strong&gt;only &lt;a href=""&gt;one-third&lt;/a&gt; of people diagnosed with a behavioral health condition got the care they needed. Recent efforts to strengthen &lt;a href=""&gt;laws aimed at improving access&lt;/a&gt; might eventually help, but it’s not going to happen overnight. &lt;/p&gt;
  277. &lt;p id="JwgmTB"&gt;If you’re considering getting care for your mental health needs, just getting started can feel daunting, and the landscape of payment, providers, and your progress can feel like a minefield. It’s especially hard to begin if you embark on this journey when you’re at a low point. &lt;/p&gt;
  278. &lt;p id="LtoxWt"&gt;I speak from experience: I did wind up having the teary conversation I’d dreaded. But it turned out to be more clarifying than mortifying, and the therapist on the other end of the line&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/strong&gt;was a keeper. &lt;/p&gt;
  279. &lt;p id="wiePfJ"&gt;People face a range of common obstacles when seeking mental health care. Here’s how to navigate a few of them.&lt;/p&gt;
  280. &lt;h3 id="Cm4fXh"&gt;I don’t know what diagnosis I have or what kind of treatment I need&lt;/h3&gt;
  281. &lt;p id="OVy8Ar"&gt;People across the spectrum of okayness access mental health care at different times in their lives, and there’s huge variation in what leads them to do so, says &lt;a href=""&gt;Megan Rochford&lt;/a&gt;, who oversees the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s (NAMI’s) national &lt;a href=""&gt;helpline&lt;/a&gt;. No matter your situation, keep in mind that you don’t need to know what you need to start getting care.&lt;/p&gt;
  282. &lt;p id="Kecmxu"&gt;If a sense of shame is keeping you from seeking mental health care, know that you’re not alone and help is out there, says Rochford. Calls to helplines like NAMI’s and the care that licensed professionals provide are confidential, she says, and their goal is to give you what you need to be your best and strongest self. Furthermore, getting mental health support might not look the way you imagine it: The vocabulary of modern mental health care goes beyond therapists’ couches and medications and includes &lt;a href=""&gt;options&lt;/a&gt; like &lt;a href=""&gt;community care&lt;/a&gt; models (including healing circles and peer support)&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/strong&gt;that feel more welcoming for some people. &lt;/p&gt;
  283. &lt;p id="plB0gV"&gt;Although the people you consult as you’re seeking care might be the experts on the resources available to you, you’re ultimately the expert on your own experience, and you get to decide what feels right for you, says &lt;a href=""&gt;Niya McCray-Brown&lt;/a&gt;, a licensed professional counselor who directs community engagement at the education and advocacy nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA). &lt;/p&gt;
  284. &lt;p id="73vAgU"&gt;Some people find themselves seeking mental health care in a moment of crisis. For example, they’re losing control of their ability to work, go to school, or be present for loved ones, or are in danger of harming themselves or other people. In these cases, finding care is urgent — and it’s now a comparatively straightforward process, said Rochford: The &lt;a href=""&gt;988&lt;/a&gt; suicide and crisis lifeline, which rolled out nationally in &lt;a href=""&gt;July 2022&lt;/a&gt;, provides around-the-clock emotional support to people in distress and, if needed, connects people with services and facilities in their area. If you are in crisis, you can dial 988 from any phone, access the chat feature from the 988 &lt;a href=""&gt;website&lt;/a&gt;, or text MHA to the number 741741.&lt;/p&gt;
  285. &lt;p id="fdzjX8"&gt;For people who aren’t in crisis, the symptoms that lead them to seek mental health care may include both emotional and physical sensations. Many people seeking mental health care for the first time offer reasons including feeling particularly sad or overwhelmed, sensing constant worry, or being unable to turn off an internal voice, says &lt;a href=""&gt;Marnie Shanbhag&lt;/a&gt;, a psychologist based in Winter Park, Florida, who works for the American Psychological Association. Others report trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, or low energy.&lt;/p&gt;
  286. &lt;p id="gNQvb3"&gt;People may also seek care to help change or get through specific moments in life, said Rochford. You might want to understand why you make certain choices or how to think through a problem you’re facing. Maybe you want help managing some unhealthy coping skills, like relying too much on alcohol or drugs, or working through some conflicts in a romantic or family relationship. Or perhaps you’re interested in seeing if you’d benefit from medication or getting a diagnosis.&lt;/p&gt;
  287. &lt;p id="rSXM9J"&gt;The toolkit for treating mental health concerns is large, and you don’t need to know exactly which tools you need in order to start getting care. However, it can be helpful to have an objective in mind, says Rochford: “Give some thought to what your goals are, and then give some thought to how to best go about meeting those needs,” she says. &lt;/p&gt;
  288. &lt;p id="hTye7v"&gt;Websites like &lt;a href=""&gt;NAMI’s&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=""&gt;MHA’s&lt;/a&gt; can help you put words to feelings or symptoms that are difficult to describe. There are also lots of mental health “warmlines,” free and confidential support lines that provide help over the phone: NAMI runs a national &lt;a href=""&gt;helpline&lt;/a&gt;, and many states run their own &lt;a href=""&gt;warmlines&lt;/a&gt;. These are different from hotlines like 988 in that they’re geared less toward supporting people through a crisis and more toward connecting people with resources for future care.&lt;/p&gt;
  289. &lt;p id="bnwwaZ"&gt;These websites and helplines can also help you get oriented to the array of resources people with mental health concerns can access. Although many people may think of talk therapy and medications as the cornerstones of care, there are also self-help and &lt;a href=""&gt;support groups&lt;/a&gt;, peer support and other community care approaches, and a range of nonmedication treatments that can be helpful in lots of situations. For certain serious mental illnesses that are harder to treat, &lt;a href=""&gt;electroconvulsive therapy&lt;/a&gt; may play a role, and a range of &lt;a href=""&gt;psychedelic drugs&lt;/a&gt; are showing a lot of promise.&lt;/p&gt;
  290. &lt;div&gt;&lt;aside id="FcCdA9"&gt;&lt;q&gt;Mental health professionals are generally pretty comfortable helping you find the right place to start, even if it means connecting you to a different provider with the best expertise for your specific need&lt;/q&gt;&lt;/aside&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  291. &lt;p id="rcKK9m"&gt;If you’re not sure how to proceed even after some research, consider running your concerns past your primary care provider, says Rochford. “It can be very helpful to talk to somebody you trust who can kind of serve as a compass,” she says. Primary care providers likely know of mental health providers in your area, and can often start and manage medications for mental health complaints. Plus, it’s wise to rule out the possibility that a physical condition is contributing to your symptoms. &lt;/p&gt;
  292. &lt;p id="5Pr8E3"&gt;Ultimately, mental health professionals are generally pretty comfortable helping you find the right place to start, even if it means connecting you to a different provider with the best expertise for your specific need, says Shanbhag. &lt;/p&gt;
  293. &lt;p id="Kfw1IB"&gt;For more information about mental health diagnoses and types of treatment and support, check out:&lt;/p&gt;
  294. &lt;ul&gt;
  295. &lt;li id="dOH9DY"&gt;MHA’s &lt;a href=""&gt;Common Treatment Types and Managing Expectations&lt;/a&gt;
  296. &lt;/li&gt;
  297. &lt;li id="Muoeuh"&gt;NAMI’s list of &lt;a href=""&gt;support groups&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=""&gt;community care organizations&lt;/a&gt;
  298. &lt;/li&gt;
  299. &lt;li id="bLsfTZ"&gt;NAMI’s &lt;a href=""&gt;Resource Directory&lt;/a&gt;, one of many &lt;a href=""&gt;resource lists&lt;/a&gt; on the organization’s website&lt;/li&gt;
  300. &lt;/ul&gt;
  301. &lt;h3 id="NCWerv"&gt;I don’t know how to get this paid for&lt;/h3&gt;
  302. &lt;p id="Dx2mbz"&gt;Cost is always a concern when accessing any kind of health care; mental health care is no exception.&lt;/p&gt;
  303. &lt;p id="RmN0ub"&gt;If you’re insured, look at your plan details (or call the 800 number on your insurance card) to figure out what kinds of treatment your insurer covers. There may be a deductible — that is, a portion of the cost that you pay regardless of the total cost — and that amount may vary quite a bit between plans. Some plans also fully cover a certain number of visits with a provider before you start paying out of pocket. &lt;/p&gt;
  304. &lt;p id="E6dpWH"&gt;The upshot is that there’s a ton of variation between plans, so if you’re insured, avoid surprises by checking with your insurer before seeking care.&lt;/p&gt;
  305. &lt;p id="UyzJA8"&gt;Many insurance plans have a network of providers whose services cost less to people in the plan than providers outside the network. Typically, these providers live in your state — although in the case of some online-only providers, they may live in another state but be licensed in yours. Many plans will pay some percentage of the total cost for providers in their network, and a lower percentage (or nothing) for providers out of network.&lt;/p&gt;
  306. &lt;p id="EmKPMF"&gt;Even if you do have insurance, getting your mental health care paid for is often different from getting physical health care paid for. Many therapists give you their bill directly, which you pay and then submit to your insurer for reimbursement. &lt;/p&gt;
  307. &lt;p id="myJVjt"&gt;If you don’t have health insurance, you still have options. If you want therapy, paying full price out of pocket may be an option. It’s costly, typically ranging from &lt;a href=""&gt;$100 to $200&lt;/a&gt; for a&lt;strong&gt; &lt;/strong&gt;session. Some providers offer therapy on a sliding scale — which means lower costs for people with less ability to pay — so it’s worth asking.&lt;/p&gt;
  308. &lt;p id="LjoueG"&gt;Additionally, many &lt;a href=""&gt;online-only providers&lt;/a&gt; provide services to people paying out of pocket (some also accept certain insurance plans).&lt;/p&gt;
  309. &lt;p id="vMlTZQ"&gt;There are also low- and no-cost options, both for therapy and for other types of treatment. Rochford suggests looking for universities with graduate programs training people to provide psychotherapy; these often offer treatment for free. Additionally, self-help and support groups are typically free to attend. &lt;/p&gt;
  310. &lt;p id="0lkS04"&gt;For more information on the financial side of mental health treatment, check out:&lt;/p&gt;
  311. &lt;ul&gt;
  312. &lt;li id="ezewbg"&gt;
  313. &lt;a href=""&gt;This article&lt;/a&gt; on NAMI’s website&lt;/li&gt;
  314. &lt;li id="Qqig15"&gt;MHA’s &lt;a href=""&gt;Paying for Care&lt;/a&gt; page&lt;/li&gt;
  315. &lt;/ul&gt;
  316. &lt;h3 id="AtaHsb"&gt;I don’t know how to find a therapist ... &lt;/h3&gt;
  317. &lt;p id="uDJcou"&gt;For many people with a mental health concern, psychotherapy — treatment that involves talking with a therapist to help identify and change bothersome feelings, thoughts, and behaviors — is part of the treatment plan. Looking for a therapist, though, can easily lead to more questions than answers: The acronyms describing different treatment approaches and skill sets may be confusing to people, and it might not be clear how to determine the cost-effectiveness of choices upfront.&lt;/p&gt;
  318. &lt;p id="y1ZR84"&gt;To start a search, it can be helpful to begin by considering your finances. If cost is a priority and you’re insured, it’s worth starting with the list of in-network providers your insurer maintains. You can search online for the names of individual providers to get some information about the populations and issues they typically focus on in their practice, or you can call individual providers to ask whether they have experience dealing with people whose concerns are similar to yours. Psychology Today maintains a large &lt;a href=""&gt;directory&lt;/a&gt; where therapists can pay to be listed alongside details about their practice, as do several other websites, or you can simply plug their name and “therapist” into a search engine.&lt;/p&gt;
  319. &lt;p id="YpfvzY"&gt;Among the lower-cost therapy options available for both insured and uninsured people are the mental health services many local health departments and community-based organizations may offer. For people of faith, clergypeople may serve as a good resource, and for children, check to see if a school guidance counselor can provide some help.&lt;/p&gt;
  320. &lt;p id="kifKQK"&gt;Although some therapists see patients only in person or online, many offer both as an option. “The pandemic changed the way we thought about telehealth,” says &lt;a href=""&gt;Jeff Ashby&lt;/a&gt;, a psychologist and professor at Georgia State University who researches stress and trauma. “What we discovered — consistent with previous research — is that a whole lot of issues can be treated using telehealth.”&lt;/p&gt;
  321. &lt;p id="brSfFf"&gt;There might be some small advantages to in-person therapy: It allows your therapist to read your body language, not just your facial expressions, and makes building a therapeutic relationship a little easier. In part for that reason, &lt;a href=""&gt;Catharina Chang&lt;/a&gt;, a professor and counselor at Georgia State University, recommends having at least one or two in-person sessions before switching to virtual interactions. But the best modality for accessing therapy really is the one that gets you the help you need. “The important thing is that you get help, and have a way you can get the help,” she says. If that means using a virtual-only platform, that’s fine!&lt;/p&gt;
  322. &lt;p id="lsQvTQ"&gt;Lots of text-based therapy platforms have popped up in the past few years. Although these platforms offer what feels like an easy way to access support, experts advise approaching them with caution. State psychotherapist licensing boards, which accredit therapists based on their adherence to evidence-based best practices, haven’t approved text-based therapy, says McCray-Brown of MHA. “I would just caution folks to understand the implications of that, both in terms of the quality of service that they’re getting and what payment options are available to them,” she says. In other words, you’ll probably be paying out of pocket for text-based therapy — and there isn’t yet great evidence that it actually helps.&lt;/p&gt;
  323. &lt;p id="khTtTz"&gt;For more tips on finding a therapist, check out:&lt;/p&gt;
  324. &lt;ul&gt;
  325. &lt;li id="7fvVXq"&gt;NAMI’s &lt;a href=""&gt;Finding a Mental Health Professional&lt;/a&gt; page&lt;/li&gt;
  326. &lt;li id="XwHgsn"&gt;
  327. &lt;a href=""&gt;This helpful guide&lt;/a&gt; from NPR Shots &lt;/li&gt;
  328. &lt;/ul&gt;
  329. &lt;div class="c-float-right"&gt;&lt;aside id="o9pU4O"&gt;&lt;q&gt;The best modality for accessing therapy really is the one that gets you the help you need&lt;/q&gt;&lt;/aside&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  330. &lt;h3 id="1g7U6x"&gt;... Or how to parse all of the different job titles among mental health providers&lt;/h3&gt;
  331. &lt;p id="QTHS10"&gt;If you’re choosing a therapist from a list, the array of letters following providers’ names can feel dizzying. It’s wise to keep a few things in mind as you look at credentials.&lt;/p&gt;
  332. &lt;p id="njSpsq"&gt;First, there’s a difference between therapists who’ve been licensed by the state or states they practice in and those who haven’t. Licensed providers have to complete thousands of hours of supervised training before hanging up a shingle, have been extensively trained in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, and are bound to keep your information confidential by HIPAA laws and ethical standards. &lt;/p&gt;
  333. &lt;p id="GKw6Zw"&gt;None of this is guaranteed with unlicensed providers. The experts I spoke with suggested that unless you’re receiving therapy from a clergyperson under the umbrella of pastoral care, seeking out licensed providers is the safest route. &lt;/p&gt;
  334. &lt;p id="BkQNpC"&gt;Second, the paths to becoming a licensed therapist include getting a master’s degree (in counseling, social work, or marriage and family therapy) or a doctoral degree (typically in psychology). They also include a minimum of two years of supervised experience providing therapy. Although the degree alone doesn’t convey much in the way of a therapist’s fit or even their experience, a few differences may be of interest to potential patients:&lt;/p&gt;
  335. &lt;ul&gt;
  336. &lt;li id="D3ftCz"&gt;
  337. &lt;strong&gt;Psychologists&lt;/strong&gt; (i.e., therapists with either a PhD in psychology or PsyD and at least three to five years of supervised experience) are trained in assessing a variety of mental disorders, which may be helpful for people seeking a diagnosis or treatment of a particular condition.&lt;/li&gt;
  338. &lt;li id="olaPNx"&gt;
  339. &lt;strong&gt;Clinical social workers &lt;/strong&gt;(i.e., therapists with a master’s degree in social work and at least two years of supervised experience) have experience in managing stressors related to housing, employment, and other social issues. When these issues overlap with mental health concerns, a therapist with this training can function as a “one-stop shop” in many ways, says &lt;a href=""&gt;Mirean Coleman&lt;/a&gt;, who directs clinical practice at the National Association of Social Workers.&lt;/li&gt;
  340. &lt;li id="2a3DLN"&gt;
  341. &lt;strong&gt;Licensed professional counselors&lt;/strong&gt; (i.e., therapists with a master’s degree in counseling and at least two years of supervised experience) have training in diagnosis and can provide one-on-one and group counseling. Some have focused training in rehabilitation and school counseling.&lt;/li&gt;
  342. &lt;li id="cQ1hmH"&gt;
  343. &lt;strong&gt;Licensed marriage and family therapists&lt;/strong&gt; (i.e., therapists with a master’s degree in counseling and at least two years of supervised experience) also have training in diagnosis, along with additional training in family systems and how close interpersonal relationships work.&lt;/li&gt;
  344. &lt;li id="mZsXLR"&gt;
  345. &lt;strong&gt;Psychiatrists&lt;/strong&gt; are medical doctors with training in diagnosing and treating many types of mental illness. They less commonly provide talk therapy nowadays, but unlike most other therapists, they can prescribe medication. Typically, if a therapist determines a patient would benefit from medication, they refer them to a psychiatrist (or a &lt;strong&gt;psychiatric nurse practitioner&lt;/strong&gt;) to prescribe and manage the medication, and stay on as the provider of psychotherapy for the patient.  &lt;/li&gt;
  346. &lt;/ul&gt;
  347. &lt;p id="oMe2x6"&gt;So as long as your therapist has experience in the issue you need help with, it makes sense to put more weight into whether you “click” with the person you’re seeing and less into what letters they have following their name.&lt;/p&gt;
  348. &lt;p id="gqGDzC"&gt;Beyond differences in their degrees, there’s a ton of other variations among therapists: &lt;/p&gt;
  349. &lt;ul&gt;
  350. &lt;li id="8uve3s"&gt;Many develop expertise in working with certain &lt;strong&gt;populations&lt;/strong&gt; — for example, older adults, or &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;LGBTQ&lt;/a&gt; people. &lt;/li&gt;
  351. &lt;li id="4P1Lv5"&gt;Some get special training in caring for people with certain &lt;strong&gt;diagnoses&lt;/strong&gt; or experiences (like obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, or trauma).&lt;/li&gt;
  352. &lt;li id="l2T3IC"&gt;Different therapists often specialize in several of a variety of treatment &lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;strong&gt;methods&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/a&gt;, like cognitive behavioral therapy (used for a range of conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia), dialectical behavioral therapy (a frequent treatment for borderline personality disorder), &lt;a href=""&gt;acceptance and commitment therapy&lt;/a&gt; (also used for a broad range of conditions, including obsessive-compulsive, eating, and substance use disorders), and eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy (often used for treating post-traumatic stress disorders).&lt;/li&gt;
  353. &lt;/ul&gt;
  354. &lt;p id="62W900"&gt;It’s not uncommon for people with certain identities — like those with certain racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexuality affiliations — to seek out therapists who share that identity. “It’s natural, healthy, and valid that folks want to work with a clinician or work with a mental health care worker that has a similar experience to them,” says McCray-Brown of MHA.&lt;/p&gt;
  355. &lt;p id="ziprDQ"&gt;That doesn’t mean that a mismatch is a bad thing. In fact, says McCray-Brown, “you might be able to find a sense of confidence and empowerment in educating others about your experience.” Additionally, good providers should have enough cultural humility to validate the experiences you bring to the table as part of your identity.&lt;/p&gt;
  356. &lt;p id="ZY6cbW"&gt;For people who prefer to see a therapist with some cultural overlap but are struggling to find one, it’s reasonable to prioritize seeing someone who otherwise has the skills and fit that works for you rather than waiting. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good here — but at the same time, don’t hesitate to ask for changes if your experience isn’t affirmed and validated, says McCray-Brown. &lt;/p&gt;
  357. &lt;p id="g1fGa5"&gt;For more information on types of mental health professionals, check out:&lt;/p&gt;
  358. &lt;ul&gt;&lt;li id="mI4284"&gt;MHA’s &lt;a href=""&gt;Finding the Right Clinical Mental Health Care For You&lt;/a&gt;
  359. &lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ul&gt;
  360. &lt;div class="c-float-right"&gt;&lt;aside id="Uv3tuF"&gt;&lt;q&gt;Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good here — but at the same time, don’t hesitate to ask for changes if your experience isn’t affirmed and validated&lt;/q&gt;&lt;/aside&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  361. &lt;h3 id="wPHBHw"&gt;I’m worried I won’t vibe with my therapist&lt;/h3&gt;
  362. &lt;p id="R75q7V"&gt;The fit between a patient and their therapist is the most important thing in determining whether therapy will be productive, says Ashby. But it can be difficult to predict what kind of person you’ll click with in therapy. “Think about it as shopping,” he says. “There may be really talented therapists for whom you’re not a good fit,” and if that only becomes clear after you’ve been seeing them a while, you’re still absolutely within your rights — and not in violation of any norms — to move on to someone who’s a better fit.&lt;/p&gt;
  363. &lt;p id="H6VOjC"&gt;“Good therapists only want to work with clients who are good matches because no one wants to be unsuccessful,” says Ashby.&lt;/p&gt;
  364. &lt;p id="qxNk6u"&gt;As you start looking for a therapist, it’s key to remember that therapists are aware of the importance of fit between themselves and their clients, and they’ll know it’s totally normal for you to talk to a few people before settling on someone to work with. You shouldn’t be getting a hard sell from a therapist: Instead, you should get a clear sense that they’re well-qualified and open to working with you, but that it’s your choice to work with them.&lt;/p&gt;
  365. &lt;p id="80ib5s"&gt;McCray-Brown suggests asking prospective therapists for a 10- or 15-minute consultation call to get to know them and their practice. Questions that can help you get a feel for how you might work together include:&lt;/p&gt;
  366. &lt;ul&gt;
  367. &lt;li id="1b3YC3"&gt;What types of clients have you worked with before? &lt;/li&gt;
  368. &lt;li id="S5cK9W"&gt;Have you ever talked to somebody who’s dealing with the things I’m dealing with? &lt;/li&gt;
  369. &lt;li id="UoZXdX"&gt;What type of approach do you use in your therapy? &lt;/li&gt;
  370. &lt;li id="MUZvzj"&gt;How often will we be meeting? &lt;/li&gt;
  371. &lt;li id="tVJEj5"&gt;How long are individual therapy sessions?&lt;/li&gt;
  372. &lt;li id="lTQGU3"&gt;How would you handle it if I had a crisis?&lt;/li&gt;
  373. &lt;li id="7dl3Os"&gt;How long does treatment for a condition like mine typically take?&lt;/li&gt;
  374. &lt;/ul&gt;
  375. &lt;p id="QOcCSB"&gt;For help finding local providers, have a look at:&lt;/p&gt;
  376. &lt;ul&gt;&lt;li id="JatxXq"&gt;MHA’s guidance on &lt;a href=""&gt;finding a therapist&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ul&gt;
  377. &lt;h3 id="vZrhir"&gt;I’m not sure how to tell if it’s going well or when I no longer need treatment&lt;/h3&gt;
  378. &lt;p id="yKSqgc"&gt;Getting therapy for mental health problems can be uncomfortable even when things are going well. Chang, of Georgia State University, suggests checking in with yourself after the first visit to determine if the fit is right. She recommends asking yourself if you felt heard, if the therapist seems like someone you can open up to, and if you were encouraged to talk about the goals and outcomes you want out of counseling.&lt;/p&gt;
  379. &lt;p id="JCWREb"&gt;As psychiatrist &lt;a href=""&gt;Richard A. Friedman&lt;/a&gt; recently &lt;a href=""&gt;wrote&lt;/a&gt; in the Atlantic&lt;em&gt;, &lt;/em&gt;most types of mental health therapy — and many mental health medications — have a common goal: “to eventually end treatment because you feel and function well enough to thrive on your own.” While some people with chronic conditions may need pharmacotherapy and individual or group support indefinitely, the majority of people who seek mental health care should consider it to be something they will eventually no longer need, or need only sporadically.&lt;/p&gt;
  380. &lt;p id="muwjB9"&gt;The duration of therapy — and other types of mental health care — varies among people and conditions. Sometimes, a few sessions fix whatever was wrong, but more often, therapy uncovers the tip of an iceberg, says Ashby. Sure, you might “hassle around and finally find somebody and see somebody for two or six sessions and say, ‘I think I got it, I think these are the aches and pains of life,’” and feel like you’ve got it sorted out, he says. &lt;/p&gt;
  381. &lt;p id="gtR4Db"&gt;But more commonly, people have been spending a lot of emotional energy holding issues at bay by the time they finally seek treatment for a mental health concern, and it takes time to unpack things. Even then, writes Friedman, therapy typically lasts a few years at most, not indefinitely.&lt;/p&gt;
  382. &lt;p id="TuuBiF"&gt;Rochford suggests talking to your provider early on about what it will look like when you’ve reached your goals. Then, as you work together to figure out what you need, you’ll both know what an endpoint might look like. &lt;/p&gt;
  383. &lt;p class="c-end-para" id="zj8D1g"&gt;Some people may be ready for a deep dive into something that’s been impairing their function, like a history of trauma and a current major depressive disorder, says Rochford. Others might just want a few months of work on reducing burnout, setting better boundaries, or having a stronger relationship. The goals of mental health care look different for different people, she says: “You’re the expert on what you need, what’s going to work best for you, what you’re ready for.”&lt;/p&gt;
  385. </content>
  386.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  387.    <id></id>
  388.    <author>
  389.      <name>Keren Landman, MD</name>
  390.    </author>
  391.  </entry>
  392.  <entry>
  393.    <published>2024-02-27T08:00:00-05:00</published>
  394.    <updated>2024-02-27T08:00:00-05:00</updated>
  395.    <title>Biden has been bad for Palestinians. Trump would be worse.</title>
  396.    <content type="html">  
  398.    &lt;figure&gt;
  399.      &lt;img alt="People take photos of a large sign with “Trump Heights” written in English underneath Hebrew writing and the US and Israel flags at the top." src="" /&gt;
  400.        &lt;figcaption&gt;A sign outside an Israeli settlement in the Golan Heights named “Trump Heights,” photographed in 2019. | Amir Levy/Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  401.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  403.  &lt;p&gt;On Israel, the two are not the same.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="ocGHlI"&gt;During the war in &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Gaza&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;President Joe Biden&lt;/a&gt; has taken a consistently pro-&lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Israel&lt;/a&gt; line. He traveled to Israel after the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;October 7 attack&lt;/a&gt;, provided the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with &lt;a href=""&gt;huge quantities of munitions&lt;/a&gt;, refused to publicly call for &lt;a href=""&gt;an indefinite ceasefire&lt;/a&gt;, and vetoed &lt;a href=""&gt;UN resolutions it opposed&lt;/a&gt;. This all reflects the president’s strongly held personal beliefs on &lt;a href=""&gt;the need to support the Jewish state&lt;/a&gt; and the idea that &lt;a href=""&gt;public support for Israel&lt;/a&gt; gives America greater behind-the-scenes leverage.&lt;/p&gt;
  404. &lt;p id="lCN12I"&gt;For &lt;a href=""&gt;those who wish Washington&lt;/a&gt; would put more pressure on Jerusalem to stop the killing, this raises a fundamental question: Would &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;President Donald Trump&lt;/a&gt; have done anything differently?&lt;/p&gt;
  405. &lt;p id="9sUFIx"&gt;The answer is almost certainly yes. Biden has put only inconsistent pressure on Israel; Trump would have put none.&lt;/p&gt;
  406. &lt;p id="ZILkmF"&gt;Everything we know about the former president, from his extensive policy record on the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Israeli-Palestinian conflict&lt;/a&gt; to his top advisers’ statements on the war, suggests he would have no qualms about aligning himself completely with Israel’s far-right government. While Biden has pushed Israel behind the scenes on issues like food and medical aid to civilians — with some limited success — it’s hard to imagine Trump even lifting a finger in defense of Gazan civilians whom he wants to &lt;a href=""&gt;ban from entering the United States&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  407. &lt;p id="AqC8GD"&gt;The Israeli right understands this and pines for Trump. In &lt;a href=""&gt;an early February interview&lt;/a&gt; with the Wall Street Journal, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir made his views quite clear.&lt;/p&gt;
  408. &lt;p id="UKRCn1"&gt;“Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel [to Gaza], which goes to &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Hamas&lt;/a&gt;,” Ben-Gvir said. “If Trump was in power, the U.S. conduct would be completely different.”&lt;/p&gt;
  409. &lt;p id="vbqcUV"&gt;Expert observers have a similar take. In a recent New Republic essay &lt;a href=";amp;utm_medium=social&amp;amp;utm_source=Twitter"&gt;lambasting Biden’s Gaza policy&lt;/a&gt;, two former high-level officials — American David Rothkopf and Israeli Alon Pinkas — argue that the difference between him and Trump is still massive.&lt;/p&gt;
  410. &lt;p id="DOzIFX"&gt;“Whatever our critique of the Biden administration’s Israel-Gaza policy to date, the only hope of undoing recent mistakes and achieving positive results lies with maintaining America’s current leadership,” they argue. “Donald Trump, as we have both written elsewhere, would be many times worse, many times more accommodating to the extremist elements in &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Netanyahu&lt;/a&gt;’s government.”&lt;/p&gt;
  411. &lt;p id="4qUgBC"&gt;This is not meant as a bank-shot defense of Biden. The current president should not be judged by the standards of his predecessor; there’s far more he could have done, and could still do, to help pull Israel’s government off its &lt;a href=""&gt;deadly and self-destructive path&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  412. &lt;p id="4K7Pbt"&gt;But with one of these two men almost certain to be inaugurated next January, it’s worth being clear-eyed about their actual policy differences. And the truth is this: Biden is a traditional pro-Israel American centrist, while Trump has openly and publicly aligned himself with the Israeli right wing. Those are two very different worldviews that would yield very different &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;policies&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  413. &lt;p id="OeHqvZ"&gt;In fact, they already have.&lt;/p&gt;
  414. &lt;h3 id="qPedXk"&gt;“The most pro-Israel president ever”&lt;/h3&gt;
  415. &lt;p id="UbLrKV"&gt;Donald Trump loves deals — and an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would be “the deal of the century,” as he’s fond of saying. &lt;a href=""&gt;Early in his administration&lt;/a&gt;, it seemed like that might cause him to climb down from the hardline pro-Israel positions he had outlined on the campaign trail. After all, you can’t get to a deal if you’re only talking to one side.&lt;/p&gt;
  416. &lt;p id="Gjdo8E"&gt;But getting Palestinians to the table would have required a more even-handed policy than what Trump — the self-described &lt;a href=""&gt;most pro-Israel president ever&lt;/a&gt; — pursued. There is a reason Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu &lt;a href=""&gt;all-but-openly campaigned for Trump against Biden in 2020&lt;/a&gt;. American policy in the &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Trump administration&lt;/a&gt; was a laundry list of gifts to the Israeli right: &lt;/p&gt;
  417. &lt;ul&gt;
  418. &lt;li id="l806GZ"&gt;Drafting a “peace plan” with zero Palestinian input that would have, if implemented, actually ended the possibility &lt;a href=""&gt;for a real Palestinian state&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/li&gt;
  419. &lt;li id="mRl2Px"&gt;
  420. &lt;a href=""&gt;Cutting Palestinians out of the negotiations&lt;/a&gt; over the so-called Abraham Accords, realizing the longstanding Israeli goal of severing diplomatic progress with Arab states from progress towards a sovereign Palestine. &lt;/li&gt;
  421. &lt;li id="erl5dM"&gt;Recognizing Israeli sovereignty &lt;a href=""&gt;over the Golan Heights&lt;/a&gt;, disputed territory with Syria taken during the 1967 Six-Day War.&lt;/li&gt;
  422. &lt;li id="Ioarr6"&gt;Shutting off funding &lt;a href=""&gt;for the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees&lt;/a&gt; (which &lt;a href=""&gt;Biden almost immediately restored&lt;/a&gt; and then &lt;a href=""&gt;temporarily suspended&lt;/a&gt; again amid a scandal about its employees &lt;a href=""&gt;participating in October 7&lt;/a&gt;).&lt;/li&gt;
  423. &lt;li id="ZuVzgr"&gt;Abandoning the decades-old US position that &lt;a href=""&gt;West Bank settlements are a key barrier to a peace agreement&lt;/a&gt; and eliminating &lt;a href=",%22inconsistent%20with%20international%20law%22."&gt;longstanding restrictions&lt;/a&gt; on spending US taxpayer dollars in them.&lt;/li&gt;
  424. &lt;li id="1tAmiu"&gt;Moving &lt;a href=""&gt;the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem&lt;/a&gt; while closing the &lt;a href=""&gt;US mission to Palestine in the same city&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/li&gt;
  425. &lt;/ul&gt;
  426. &lt;p id="JimiRt"&gt;These are not “normal” positions, the sort you expect any president to take given the bipartisan pro-Israel consensus in American politics. Many of them were directly at odds with the longstanding bipartisan consensus in US policymaking, one which attempted to balance support for Israel with trying to maintain the US position as a potential mediator in credible peace talks. The Biden team has &lt;a href=""&gt;largely tried to return to this traditional position&lt;/a&gt; where it could, even as it worked to &lt;a href=""&gt;deprioritize Middle East diplomacy&lt;/a&gt; prior to October 7.&lt;/p&gt;
  427. &lt;p id="ziRaEA"&gt;This track record gives us suggests that Trump does not approach Israel like other issues. Neither his dealmaker bravado nor his transactional approach to other alliances like NATO tempered his hardline support for Netanyahu and the Israeli right while in office. To make the case that he would have handled the Gaza war differently, one would need to show some reason to believe Trump would break with his established pattern.&lt;/p&gt;
  428. &lt;p id="gS9vXQ"&gt;And there isn’t one.&lt;/p&gt;
  429. &lt;h3 id="bSBd6Z"&gt;Why Trump’s Gaza policy would (still) be more hawkish than Biden’s&lt;/h3&gt;
  430. &lt;p id="TQ0Usv"&gt;Trump’s Israel-Palestine policy, per accounts like &lt;a href=""&gt;this one from the Washington Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker&lt;/a&gt;, was largely the product of delegation. Uninterested in the details, he outsourced policy formulation to aides. While Trump has said relatively little about the Gaza war since October 7, these influential aides have been quite vocal. And they have attacked Biden from the right.&lt;/p&gt;
  431. &lt;p id="3bE3UA"&gt;Chief among these deputies was son-in-law Jared Kushner. In a public appearance at Harvard in February, &lt;a href=""&gt;he expressed outright opposition&lt;/a&gt; to Biden’s current push for a Palestinian state as part of any postwar settlement.&lt;/p&gt;
  432. &lt;p id="c3jDxR"&gt;“Giving them a Palestinian state is basically a reinforcement of, ‘We’re going to reward you for bad actions,’” Kushner said. “You have to show terrorists that they will not be tolerated, that we will take strong action.”&lt;/p&gt;
  433. &lt;p id="wX3Ikf"&gt;Trump’s ambassador to Israel, noted hardliner David Friedman, went even further — accusing the Biden team of “&lt;a href=""&gt;hampering the war effort&lt;/a&gt;” by pressuring Israel to &lt;a href=""&gt;limit the civilian casualty toll of its bombing campaign&lt;/a&gt;. “At no time [while I was ambassador] did the United States put any handcuffs or limitations on Israel’s ability to respond,” he added in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 news station.&lt;/p&gt;
  434. &lt;p id="vc9hcW"&gt;And Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy for Middle East policy, &lt;a href=""&gt;blasted the Biden administration's decision&lt;/a&gt; to impose sanctions on violent &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;West Bank&lt;/a&gt; settlers as “wrong and deceptive.” He also claimed to be “shocked that the State Department was investigating the possibility of declaring an independent Palestinian state,”  a decision he termed “terribly harmful and dangerous.”&lt;/p&gt;
  435. &lt;p id="sw2Vgp"&gt;The key decision-makers in the last Trump administration have repudiated the handful of Biden decisions that peace advocates can actually approve of: his quiet pressure on Israel to limit harm to civilians, his diplomacy aimed at improving the postwar future, and his willingness to put sanctions on Israeli settlers. &lt;/p&gt;
  436. &lt;p id="tOI8Cn"&gt;By contrast, Trump’s advisers have praised the elements of Biden’s policy that his left-wing critics most reject: the president’s public and full-throated support for the Israeli war effort.&lt;/p&gt;
  437.  &lt;figure class="e-image"&gt;
  438.        &lt;img alt=" " data-mask-text="false" src=""&gt;
  439.      &lt;cite&gt;Maya Alleruzzo/Pool/AFP/Getty Images&lt;/cite&gt;
  440.      &lt;figcaption&gt;US President Joe Biden and Israeli President Isaac Herzog pose for a picture with children waving the American and Israeli flags upon his arrival to the presidential residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2022.&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  441.  &lt;/figure&gt;
  442. &lt;p id="31dw76"&gt;“While I have been, and remain, deeply critical of the Biden Administration, the moral, tactical, diplomatic and military support that it has provided Israel over the past few days has been exceptional,” &lt;a href=""&gt;Friedman wrote on October 12&lt;/a&gt;. “As one living in Jerusalem with children who are Israeli citizens, I am deeply grateful. I pray that American support continues in the difficult days ahead.”&lt;/p&gt;
  443. &lt;p id="KRtREF"&gt;There is no sign that Trump plans to pick a different kind of adviser or reject his previous positions. When Trump made one stray negative comment about Netanyahu in October, seemingly a product of sour grapes about the Israeli prime minister recognizing Biden’s 2020 victory, &lt;a href=""&gt;the former president walked back his criticism the next day&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  444. &lt;p id="2uwq01"&gt;Again: Biden’s position over the course of this war is entirely fair game for criticism. Palestinians feel betrayed by him, as do many Arab and Muslim American voters, and it’s hard to fault them for that.&lt;/p&gt;
  445. &lt;p id="HDY5n3"&gt;Biden has, for example, built up a huge reservoir of goodwill among Israelis, to the point where he’s actually &lt;a href=""&gt;more popular there than both Trump and Netanyahu&lt;/a&gt;. Yet several experts have told me that he’s bafflingly unwilling to cash in this support, to tell Israelis the truth about &lt;a href=""&gt;their government’s horrific mismanagement of the war&lt;/a&gt; and to put pressure for a just and swift resolution.&lt;/p&gt;
  446. &lt;p id="dW7DVQ"&gt;But it’s one thing to say Biden is falling short, and another thing entirely to say he’s not meaningfully different than Trump would have been. Every piece of evidence we have suggests he would be — and that this difference could matter a great deal to the future of America’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.&lt;/p&gt;
  448. </content>
  449.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  450.    <id></id>
  451.    <author>
  452.      <name>Zack Beauchamp</name>
  453.    </author>
  454.  </entry>
  455.  <entry>
  456.    <published>2024-02-27T07:15:00-05:00</published>
  457.    <updated>2024-02-27T07:15:00-05:00</updated>
  458.    <title>Why elite colleges are bringing the SAT back</title>
  459.    <content type="html">  
  461.    &lt;figure&gt;
  462.      &lt;img alt="“Undergraduate admissions” signage outside of the Admissions Office at Dartmouth College on February 8, 2024, in Hanover, New Hampshire." src="" /&gt;
  463.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Scott Eisen/Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  464.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  466.  &lt;p&gt;Yale and Dartmouth are bringing testing back — but thousands of other schools aren’t.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="MG4nA8"&gt;America’s colleges and universities are embroiled in yet another debate about admissions. &lt;/p&gt;
  467. &lt;p id="7A47YJ"&gt;This time, they’re rethinking their positions on standardized testing. &lt;/p&gt;
  468. &lt;p id="JrENEL"&gt;At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, several elite colleges made the submission of SAT and ACT scores optional for applicants. &lt;/p&gt;
  469. &lt;p id="KO0b89"&gt;Testing had become a hassle, with limited testing locations and time for students to get prepared. The anti-testing movement had long contended that standardized tests reinforce racial and economic inequality and that reliance on them harms students from disadvantaged backgrounds. During the pandemic, those students faced additional roadblocks. Schools loosened restrictions to simplify the process for everyone. &lt;/p&gt;
  470. &lt;p id="KJcx6P"&gt;But last week, Yale University &lt;a href=""&gt;announced&lt;/a&gt; that it was reversing course. &lt;/p&gt;
  471. &lt;p id="HudeZq"&gt;Going forward, students must include test scores with their applications, and for the first time, the school is allowing applicants to report Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores in place of SAT or ACT scores. &lt;/p&gt;
  472. &lt;p id="G64KnZ"&gt;The move follows two others reinstating testing requirements of some kind: Dartmouth College earlier this month and MIT in 2022.&lt;/p&gt;
  473. &lt;p id="sPQozG"&gt;So why are (a few elite) school leaders changing their minds? &lt;/p&gt;
  474. &lt;p id="HbERur"&gt;They’re pointing to new research that says that test scores are actually helpful for admissions decisions — and beneficial for marginalized students.&lt;/p&gt;
  475. &lt;h3 id="CEqikO"&gt;Do standardized tests make school admissions more or less fair?&lt;/h3&gt;
  476. &lt;p id="JLrUzl"&gt;The anti-testing movement has long held that &lt;a href=""&gt;tests maintain inequality&lt;/a&gt; and are a &lt;a href=""&gt;disservice to students&lt;/a&gt; from disadvantaged backgrounds. &lt;/p&gt;
  477. &lt;p id="LaiH8H"&gt;There are reasons for that: &lt;a href=""&gt;Tests&lt;/a&gt; can be &lt;a href=""&gt;discriminatory&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  478. &lt;p id="nzCXSj"&gt;A &lt;a href=""&gt;study&lt;/a&gt; from Opportunity Insights, a group of Harvard economists, found that “students from low-income families and other less advantaged backgrounds have lower standardized test scores and are less likely to take the test than students from higher income families” due to “differences in school quality, neighborhood exposure, and many other environmental conditions.” &lt;/p&gt;
  479. &lt;p id="qVgk0B"&gt;But that wasn’t their central finding. They and the other researchers fueling the recent admissions reversals have found that test-optional practices &lt;em&gt;harm&lt;/em&gt; students from low-income backgrounds. &lt;/p&gt;
  480. &lt;aside id="QcTbSK"&gt;&lt;div data-anthem-component="newsletter" data-anthem-component-data='{"slug":"vox_sentences"}'&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/aside&gt;&lt;p id="x2Gl1Q"&gt;That’s because when given the option to submit scores, these students decided not to submit them out of fear that their scores weren’t perfect. &lt;/p&gt;
  481. &lt;p id="yLG3Kg"&gt;Instead, admissions counselors have found that strong scores from students of lower-income backgrounds are an indicator that they would excel academically in college.&lt;/p&gt;
  482. &lt;h3 id="mujTqC"&gt;What does the research say about how universities use test scores?&lt;/h3&gt;
  483. &lt;p id="8VrMi3"&gt;One thing college admissions officers consider when evaluating a potential student is: Will they succeed here? And researchers have tried to determine the connection between test scores and that college success. &lt;/p&gt;
  484. &lt;p id="WJgnep"&gt;In one &lt;a href=""&gt;study&lt;/a&gt;, Dartmouth researchers found that test scores were a better indicator of college performance than grades, essays, or teacher recommendations. &lt;/p&gt;
  485. &lt;p id="MdaPgZ"&gt;And importantly, researchers found that test scores help admissions officers better pick out high-achieving less-advantaged applicants. &lt;/p&gt;
  486. &lt;p id="rSjFGv"&gt;Under the test-optional policy, “many high-achieving less-advantaged applicants choose not to submit scores even when doing so would allow Admissions to identify them as students likely to succeed at Dartmouth and in turn benefit their application,” the researchers wrote. &lt;/p&gt;
  487. &lt;p id="6244bC"&gt;The Opportunity Insights researchers similarly examined the connection between test scores and student success at IvyPlus institutions (the eight Ivy League colleges plus Stanford, MIT, Duke, and the University of Chicago). &lt;/p&gt;
  488. &lt;p id="t2HnVx"&gt;They found that “Even among otherwise similar students with the same high school grades, [...] SAT and ACT scores have substantial predictive power for academic success in college.” These researchers also found that higher high school GPAs are not associated with higher college GPAs. &lt;/p&gt;
  489. &lt;p id="e9yJnf"&gt;Yale’s &lt;a href=""&gt;research&lt;/a&gt; has identified the same thing. In its announcement, the school wrote, “test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s future Yale grades. This is true even after controlling for family income and other demographic variables, and it is true for subject-based exams such as AP and IB, in addition to the ACT and SAT.” &lt;/p&gt;
  490. &lt;p id="g7x3Uk"&gt;In short, according to Opportunity Insights’ findings, it can be the case that tests reinforce inequality generally but also allow schools to identify individual kids who are academically prepared despite challenging circumstances.&lt;/p&gt;
  491. &lt;h3 id="upfPD6"&gt;What happens next&lt;/h3&gt;
  492. &lt;p id="hDZF7j"&gt;Yale and Dartmouth have emphasized that test scores are simply one part of their whole-person review processes. &lt;/p&gt;
  493. &lt;p id="tiT37z"&gt;Using test scores in the years before the pandemic had not harmed Yale’s diversity efforts, the university said in its announcement, citing gains in the number of admitted first-generation college students and under-represented minority students. &lt;/p&gt;
  494. &lt;p id="9Gm9T1"&gt;And it’s worth pointing out that some of the wealthiest applicants never stopped testing and submitting scores when possible.  &lt;/p&gt;
  495. &lt;p id="sPuqx0"&gt;Adam Nguyen, who founded Ivy Link, a firm that helps students gain admission to selective colleges, never changed the advice he gave to clients.&lt;/p&gt;
  496. &lt;p id="6jn3AL"&gt;“I can tell you that a number of things on the application are ‘optional,’ but to get into the Ivy League and other elite colleges, an applicant has to go above and beyond the minimum requirements,” he said. &lt;/p&gt;
  497. &lt;p id="49Vax5"&gt;And for wealthy students, that can mean paying firms like his tens of thousands of dollars to help curate outstanding extracurricular resumes, design showcase projects, and bolster their grades. Comparatively, he said, “standardized tests are probably the avenue where kids” can excel with fewer resources.&lt;/p&gt;
  498. &lt;p id="5wPaos"&gt;Meanwhile, the anti-testing movement has said the attention to the test-optional reversals is excessive. An &lt;a href=""&gt;overwhelming majority&lt;/a&gt; of US colleges and universities remain test-optional. &lt;/p&gt;
  499. &lt;p id="wGvAh4"&gt;At least 1,825 four-year colleges in the US — or more than 80 percent of them — will not require SAT or ACT scores for fall 2025, according to FairTest, an organization that advocates against testing requirements.&lt;/p&gt;
  500. &lt;p id="7aUYp7"&gt;“Despite a media frenzy around a single Ivy League school reinstating testing requirements, ACT/SAT-optional and test-blind/score-free policies remain the new normal in undergraduate admissions,” said FairTest executive director Harry Feder.&lt;/p&gt;
  501. &lt;p id="QDYDzM"&gt;&lt;em&gt;This story appeared originally in &lt;/em&gt;&lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Today, Explained&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;em&gt;, Vox’s flagship daily newsletter. &lt;/em&gt;&lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Sign up here for future editions&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;em&gt;.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  503. </content>
  504.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  505.    <id></id>
  506.    <author>
  507.      <name>Fabiola Cineas</name>
  508.    </author>
  509.  </entry>
  510.  <entry>
  511.    <published>2024-02-27T06:00:00-05:00</published>
  512.    <updated>2024-02-27T06:00:00-05:00</updated>
  513.    <title>The sexy subversions of A Court of Thorns and Roses</title>
  514.    <content type="html">  
  516.    &lt;figure&gt;
  517.      &lt;img alt="Three book covers in a row: A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin" src="" /&gt;
  518.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Paige Vickers for Vox&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  519.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  521.  &lt;p&gt;How Sarah J. Maas became romantasy’s reigning queen.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="6DFFBB"&gt;As BookTok goes, so goes publishing. The community of TikTokers who make videos about their favorite books is one of the only forces &lt;a href=""&gt;actively driving book sales&lt;/a&gt; in a contracting market — and right now, BookTok has a new favorite genre. &lt;a href=""&gt;Romantasy&lt;/a&gt;, the hybrid genre of romance-focused fantasy novels, has never been hotter. Every second pitch I receive from a publisher describes itself as romantasy. Bookstores are pushing tables of romantasy novels to the front of the shop. Grown-ups and teenagers alike are posting long videos about their favorite romantasy books. Many of them highlight Sarah J. Maas, the genre’s reigning queen. &lt;/p&gt;
  522. &lt;p id="7NoIUR"&gt;Maas has been publishing since 2012, when at 26 she published &lt;em&gt;Throne of Glass&lt;/em&gt;, the fantasy novel she started working on as a 16-year-old. In 2013, she scored her first &lt;a href=""&gt;New York Times bestseller&lt;/a&gt;, and in 2015, she began to pick up adult fans with the wildly popular &lt;em&gt;A Court of Thorns and Roses&lt;/em&gt;. Now, Maas has two YA and one adult romantasy series (&lt;em&gt;Crescent City&lt;/em&gt;, the adult series, began in 2020). Between all those titles, she’s sold more than &lt;a href=""&gt;38 million books worldwide&lt;/a&gt;. Her most recent book, &lt;em&gt;House of Flame and Shadow&lt;/em&gt;, came out at the end of January and has been on the bestseller list &lt;a href=""&gt;ever since&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;
  523. &lt;p id="sIuzl4"&gt;Of all Maas’s series, &lt;em&gt;A Court of Thorns and Roses&lt;/em&gt; (ACOTAR) is her crown jewel. The TikTok tag #acotar has 8.9 billion views. Hulu has been developing a TV adaptation helmed by Ron Moore, although its current status is reportedly “&lt;a href=""&gt;murky&lt;/a&gt;.” Among fans, it is her most beloved work, the only Maas series so popular that it’s spawned its own spinoff novels. They say that ACOTAR has reignited their childhood love of reading, that these are the books that make other books feel worthwhile. &lt;/p&gt;
  524. &lt;p id="eKXet0"&gt;Reading through the first three volumes of ACOTAR recently, I began to understand why. These books go down like candy, silly and frothy and compulsively readable. Everyone in ACOTAR is beautiful, everyone is attractively damaged, everyone is pining with love for some inaccessible someone else. I read nearly 2,000 pages in a couple of weeks.&lt;/p&gt;
  525. &lt;p id="9fZdtL"&gt;What is liveliest about Maas’s writing, though, is how well she knows her formula. Maas is a genius at cramming her books with the tropes of her hybrid genre — and then subverting those tropes just enough to thrill.&lt;/p&gt;
  526. &lt;hr class="p-entry-hr" id="JdpMGm"&gt;
  527. &lt;p id="4AIdgd"&gt;In his 2017 book &lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;Hit Makers&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt;, journalist Derek Thompson identifies a simple formula for popularity. Human beings, Thompson writes, tend to like things that are pleasingly familiar, with a gentle touch of surprise. That’s part of why romantasy is so popular. It takes two familiar trope-driven formulae — say, an enemies-to-lovers love story plus an epic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil — and smashes them together to create something that feels new. &lt;/p&gt;
  528. &lt;p id="OiT1VH"&gt;Identifying the pleasingly familiar and adding a surprise is something of a specialty for Maas. She likes to start her stories with classic fairy tales given a hint of a girl power twist. &lt;em&gt;Throne of Glass&lt;/em&gt; is based on “Cinderella,” but Maas’s Cinderella is an assassin sent to kill the prince. &lt;em&gt;A Court of Thorns and Roses&lt;/em&gt; is “Beauty and the Beast,” but Beauty is a deadly huntress. &lt;/p&gt;
  529. &lt;p id="f4lGvX"&gt;Within the stories themselves, Maas’s worldbuilding is full of hat tips to her predecessors. In &lt;em&gt;A Court of Thorn and Roses&lt;/em&gt;, the faerie land is called Prythian, a nod to &lt;a href=""&gt;Lloyd Alexander’s &lt;em&gt;Chronicles of Prydain&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt;. In Prythian, faeries use a form of teleportation called “winnowing,” and their explanation of it will be familiar to anyone who loved Madeleine L’Engle’s &lt;em&gt;A Wrinkle in Time&lt;/em&gt;. “Think of it as … two different points on a piece of cloth,” Maas writes (very much her ellipses). “Winnowing … it’s like folding that cloth so the two spots align.” If you’ve read the classics of YA fantasy before, you’ll recognize the sampling and remixing she is doing here.&lt;/p&gt;
  530. &lt;p id="7wBp62"&gt;Part of the pleasure of reading Maas is seeing these familiar YA fantasy references lie cheek by jowl with the tropes of romance novels. In &lt;em&gt;A Court of Mist and Fury&lt;/em&gt;, the second volume of the series, two lovers who have not yet admitted their feelings for each other find themselves forced by cruel circumstance to &lt;a href=""&gt;fake date&lt;/a&gt;. Later, they end up at an inn with only one bed to spare, not once but twice. Across ACOTAR, Maas’s protagonist, Feyre, is torn between two boys. One is blond and sunny; one is dark-haired and brooding; both are impossibly beautiful, rich, and powerful; both begin as Feyre’s enemies. &lt;/p&gt;
  531. &lt;p id="BH2KPX"&gt;Romance and fantasy also have their darker tropes, and Maas plays with these as well. Lots of books feature villainous sexual predators, but when such figures appear in ACOTAR, they are almost exclusively women. It’s an interestingly consistent move from Maas — one she appears to keep coming back to across her books because it feels counterintuitive while at the same time allowing her readers the satisfaction of a purely evil villainess to hate. It’s also a good excuse to give her male characters extra layers of sadness and vulnerability. Maas is not interested in dissecting all the ways sexual trauma can hurt a person, but she is interested in giving her romantic leads dark and violent backstories. &lt;/p&gt;
  532. &lt;p id="I6nhaK"&gt;Maas’s biggest subversion, though, is also her most exciting. At the end of &lt;em&gt;A Court of Thorns and Roses&lt;/em&gt;, she pulls out the rug from under her own love triangle, and the results are glee-inducing to read. Spoilers follow.&lt;/p&gt;
  533. &lt;hr class="p-entry-hr" id="MPF7jX"&gt;
  534. &lt;p id="aFBw0f"&gt;If the first volume of ACOTAR is a Beauty and the Beast story, then the Beast is Tamlin, the mercurial faerie lord who first pulls Feyre into Prythian. Tamlin, the High Lord of Spring, is angry and possessive in the way that tends to read as attractive in romance novels, especially romance novels based on this fairy tale. Tamlin has the ability to turn into a wolflike creature, and when he’s angry, he growls and claws shoot out of his fingers. When Feyre gets angry, he uses magic to restrain her. &lt;/p&gt;
  535. &lt;p id="owVHpv"&gt;None of Tamlin’s sins here are too far off the Edward Cullen norm, and with the first three-quarters of &lt;em&gt;Thorns and Roses&lt;/em&gt; following the beats of a standard Beauty and the Beast love story so clearly, it’s easy to feel as though Maas is steering you toward thinking of Tamlin’s anger problem as romantic. &lt;/p&gt;
  536. &lt;p id="oEFmvs"&gt;Feyre, who is recovering from a childhood of poverty and emotional neglect, falls rapidly for Tamlin, despite her initial hatred of all faeries. He showers her with fine food and clothes, gives her art supplies so that she can pursue her passion for painting. He is the first person Feyre has ever encountered who treats her as someone special and beautiful. His uncontrollable rage at the thought of her being in danger or with another man seems to her like yet more proof that she is special and beautiful. She is smitten. When the book ends with the pair kissing in a meadow full of wildflowers, it feels like just what you would expect.&lt;/p&gt;
  537. &lt;p id="vbFWNd"&gt;Yet something bizarre happens about a hundred pages before that ending. Tamlin is kidnapped by a wicked faerie, and Feyre has to go on a quest to rescue him. That quest is normal for this story type — Beauty traditionally rescues the Beast, and Tamlin’s name is a nod to the Scottish ballad of Tam Lin, in which a mortal girl rescues her lover from a wicked fairy queen. Done right, such a quest reads as incredibly romantic, a chance for the lovers to prove the strength of their connection against insurmountable odds. What’s so odd about this particular case is that instead, as soon as the quest begins, Tamlin becomes a nonentity within the story.&lt;/p&gt;
  538. &lt;p id="txr2Us"&gt;Feyre’s thoughts of Tamlin and how much she loves him become generic, vague on the details. Even when he is present on the page, he is passive, unemotive, no longer compelling. All the energy and the juice of the story has transferred itself over to a new romantic lead — Rhysand, the enigmatic and brooding High Lord of Night. In &lt;em&gt;Thorns and Roses&lt;/em&gt;, Rhysand is ambiguously villainous, apparently allied with the wicked queen. Still, for purposes of his own, he’s willing to form an alliance with Feyre to help her rescue Tamlin. &lt;/p&gt;
  539. &lt;p id="vg8pOY"&gt;In the page time that earlier in the novel would have been accorded to Tamlin, Feyre thinks a lot about how much she hates Rhysand, and also how attractive he is. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Feyre is going to hook up with Rhys eventually, but the structure of the tropes here tells us that Tamlin is obviously Feyre’s endgame. He’s the Beast and she’s the Beauty! They end the book kissing in a meadow! Who’s going to mess with that?  &lt;/p&gt;
  540. &lt;p id="m7gClS"&gt;Maas messes with it. With a merciless speed that I can only compare to &lt;em&gt;Gilmore Girls&lt;/em&gt; making Dean illiterate as soon as Jess shows up, Maas reveals in the opening of &lt;em&gt;A Court of Mist and Fury&lt;/em&gt; that Tamlin is a faerie Republican, ruling his court according to the laws of trickle-down magic economics and sparing no handouts for the poor. Feyre, with her background of childhood poverty, is outraged — and as Tamlin’s possessive rages become more and more violent, she loses patience with him. Before the end of the book, she has cast Tamlin aside and declared her love for Rhysand, who is revealed to be the most benevolent of all the High Lords of Prythian and who places a premium on Feyre’s independence to boot. &lt;/p&gt;
  541. &lt;p id="khG5cT"&gt;This kind of love interest switcheroo is common in the world of teen TV, where characters change partners according to the fickle winds of &lt;a href=""&gt;cast chemistry and writing staff changes&lt;/a&gt;. In YA books, however, love stories tend to be more aesthetically unified than they are on TV. You can usually tell who will end up with whom from early on in the narrative, and the satisfaction of reading comes from seeing how they’ll end up together. Watching a swap like this one emerge out of nowhere is a perfect execution of Thompson’s &lt;em&gt;Hit Makers&lt;/em&gt; formula: a pleasingly familiar romance trope subverted when you least expect it; the love story structure of one medium ported over into another.&lt;/p&gt;
  542. &lt;p id="X9td9b"&gt;It’s popular among Maas’s fans to say that the switch is a politically evolved take on &lt;a href=""&gt;the problems&lt;/a&gt; of the Beauty and the Beast story. The Beast’s anger issues and violent tendencies, his decision to find a girlfriend by kidnapping her — these are revealed as red flags for an abusive relationship instead of romantic quirks. Feyre finds true love not with him but with someone who tells her constantly that she is always free to make her own choices.&lt;/p&gt;
  543. &lt;p id="x7XHGl"&gt;I’m not sure, though, that the switch works as an effective political critique on Maas’s source material. Rhys, like Tamlin, initiates his relationship with Feyre by coercing her into a magical bargain that forces her to promise to come to his home. Like Tamlin, Rhys mistreats Feyre only to later reveal he was forced to do so by circumstances beyond his control. He withholds crucial information from her, and although he lets her make her own choices, he forces her to do so within artificially limited circumstances. &lt;/p&gt;
  544. &lt;p id="9ML5Bb"&gt;The switch is incredibly fun to read, yet it doesn’t criticize problematic old romance tropes so much as slightly tweak their angles. But then, if those romance tropes weren’t so satisfying to read, problematic or not, Maas wouldn’t have used them to begin with. &lt;/p&gt;
  546. </content>
  547.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  548.    <id></id>
  549.    <author>
  550.      <name>Constance Grady</name>
  551.    </author>
  552.  </entry>
  553.  <entry>
  554.    <published>2024-02-26T16:30:00-05:00</published>
  555.    <updated>2024-02-26T16:30:00-05:00</updated>
  556.    <title>The Supreme Court appeared lost in a massive case about free speech online</title>
  557.    <content type="html">  
  559.    &lt;figure&gt;
  560.      &lt;img alt="Justice Neil Gorsuch, left, in a navy suit and red tie, and Chief Justice John Roberts, right, in a black suit and gray tie, stand in front of the Supreme Court building." src="" /&gt;
  561.        &lt;figcaption&gt;Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts on the steps of the Supreme Court on June 15, 2017, in Washington, DC.&amp;nbsp; | Win McNamee/Getty Images&lt;/figcaption&gt;
  562.    &lt;/figure&gt;
  564.  &lt;p&gt;The justices look likely to reinstate Texas and Florida laws that seize control of much of the internet — but not for long.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p id="vHg4qv"&gt;The &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Supreme Court&lt;/a&gt; appears inclined to reinstate Texas and Florida laws seizing control of much of the internet — both of which are currently blocked by court orders — because those laws are incompetently drafted.&lt;/p&gt;
  565. &lt;p id="Zjka7d"&gt;If that outcome sounds confusing, don’t worry, it is. Monday’s oral arguments in &lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;Moody v. NetChoice&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;NetChoice v. Paxton&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt; were messy and often difficult to follow. And the ultimate outcome in these cases is likely to turn on distinctions that even the lawyers found it difficult to keep track of. &lt;/p&gt;
  566. &lt;p id="ijyhn7"&gt;Before we dig into any of that, however, it’s useful to understand what these cases are actually about. Texas and Florida’s Republican legislatures both passed similar, but not identical, laws that would effectively seize &lt;a href=""&gt;control of content moderation&lt;/a&gt; at the “big three” social media platforms: &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Facebook&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;YouTube&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Twitter&lt;/a&gt; (the platform that &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Elon Musk&lt;/a&gt; insists on calling “X”).&lt;/p&gt;
  567. &lt;p id="YCUkI0"&gt;These laws’ advocates are quite proud of the fact that they were enacted to prevent moderation of conservative speech online, even if the big three platforms deem some of that content (such as insurrectionist or anti-vax content) offensive or harmful. &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis&lt;/a&gt; (R) said his state’s law exists to fight supposedly “biased silencing” of “&lt;a href=""&gt;our freedom of speech as conservatives ... by the ‘big tech’ oligarchs in Silicon Valley&lt;/a&gt;.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said his state’s law targets a “dangerous movement by social &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;media companies&lt;/a&gt; to &lt;a href=""&gt;silence conservative viewpoints and ideas&lt;/a&gt;.”&lt;/p&gt;
  568. &lt;p id="Dn6gFl"&gt;At least five justices — Chief Justice John Roberts, plus Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Amy Coney Barrett&lt;/a&gt; — all seemed to agree that the First Amendment does not permit this kind of government takeover of social media moderation. There is a long line of Supreme Court cases, stretching back at least as far as &lt;a href=""&gt;&lt;em&gt;Miami Herald v. Tornillo&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/a&gt; (1974), holding that the government may not force newspapers and the like to publish content they do not wish to publish. And these five justices appeared to believe that cases like &lt;em&gt;Tornillo&lt;/em&gt; should also apply to social media companies.&lt;/p&gt;
  569. &lt;p id="E3JDon"&gt;Indeed, some of them seemed so appalled by Florida’s and Texas’s attempts to control speech online that, at times, they seemed to mock the lawyers defending those states’ laws. As Roberts asked Henry Whitaker, Florida’s solicitor general, “is there any aspect of social media that you think is protected by the First Amendment?”&lt;/p&gt;
  570. &lt;p id="nJH62f"&gt;But here’s the rub: The plaintiff challenging these laws, an industry group that represents online companies, brought what is known as a &lt;a href=""&gt;“facial” challenge&lt;/a&gt; to the Texas and Florida laws. That means that they seek a court order declaring that both laws essentially must be wiped from the books and cannot ever be applied to anyone — as opposed to a more mild “as-applied” challenge, which would only prevent the law from being applied to certain parties under certain circumstances.&lt;/p&gt;
  571. &lt;p id="lfBiIy"&gt;Ordinarily, a plaintiff bringing a facial challenge “must establish that &lt;a href=""&gt;no set of circumstances&lt;/a&gt; exists under which the Act would be valid” (although the rules are somewhat more plaintiff-friendly in First Amendment cases). And, while a majority of the Court appeared to agree Texas and Florida’s attempt to control YouTube or Twitter’s content moderation is unconstitutional, the two states’ laws are so broad that they may also impose obligations on other companies, such as &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Uber&lt;/a&gt;, Etsy, or Gmail, that are not unconstitutional.&lt;/p&gt;
  572. &lt;p id="ZStQ2a"&gt;And so the Supreme Court appears likely to reinstate the Texas and Florida laws. This is not because the Court thinks they are constitutional, and not because the Court thinks that they are constitutional with respect to the three companies that Texas and Florida actually wanted to regulate. But the &lt;a href=""&gt;ham-handedly drafted laws&lt;/a&gt; at issue in the &lt;em&gt;NetChoice&lt;/em&gt; cases sweep so broadly that they may have some ancillary effects that are permitted by the First Amendment.&lt;/p&gt;
  573. &lt;p id="br1q7A"&gt;That’s probably the right outcome under existing law, but good Lord, it’s an unsatisfying one. This litigation has been ongoing for a very long time, and the Texas law already reached the Supreme Court once in 2022, when a &lt;a href=""&gt;majority of the Court voted to temporarily block it&lt;/a&gt;. A decision reinstating the laws because they are not vulnerable to a facial challenge would start that process all over again. And it would create at least some risk that, should the personnel of the Court change while this case is being relitigated, that these &lt;a href=""&gt;clearly unconstitutional laws&lt;/a&gt; could actually be upheld.&lt;/p&gt;
  574. &lt;p id="XsvOvN"&gt;What a mess.&lt;/p&gt;
  575. &lt;h3 id="iFc9hn"&gt;The case is likely to turn on two very technical distinctions&lt;/h3&gt;
  576. &lt;p id="bnN73Q"&gt;The Court appears likely to rely on the distinction between facial and as-applied challenges to reinstate the two state laws, at least temporarily. The Court’s decision also appears likely to turn on a difference between how the First Amendment governs different kinds of media companies.&lt;/p&gt;
  577. &lt;p id="Lmugse"&gt;Historically, the law &lt;a href=""&gt;drew a distinction between two kinds of communications providers&lt;/a&gt;. Providers like the Post Office or a telephone company, which make no effort to control the content of anything said by their customers, fell into one category. And the government ordinarily has fairly broad authority to make sure that these companies do not discriminate among their users.&lt;/p&gt;
  578. &lt;p id="cIS2uI"&gt;The other category includes magazines, newspapers, and other companies that produce curated content. The &lt;em&gt;Tornillo&lt;/em&gt; decision held that a news outlet’s “choice of material to go into a newspaper” is &lt;a href=""&gt;subject only to the paper’s “editorial control and judgment,”&lt;/a&gt; and that “it has yet to be demonstrated how governmental regulation of this crucial process can be exercised consistent with First Amendment guarantees of a free press.”&lt;/p&gt;
  579. &lt;p id="1fX7ta"&gt;Social media exists in somewhat of a gray area between a telephone company and a magazine. Like a phone company, social media platforms ordinarily allow nearly anyone to use their service and to say what they want to say using that service. But, like a magazine, they do exclude some content they fear will &lt;a href=""&gt;turn off other users or discourage advertisers from buying ads on their site&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  580. &lt;p id="Z1CNDA"&gt;That said, there is a very strong argument that social media is &lt;em&gt;enough&lt;/em&gt; like a magazine to prevent the Florida and Texas laws from taking effect — both of which seek to prohibit social media sites from pulling down content or banning users because of the viewpoint expressed by that user. (Texas’s law &lt;a href=""&gt;explicitly bans “viewpoint” discrimination&lt;/a&gt; by the big three social media companies. Florida’s law is more ambiguous, but appears to do the same.)&lt;/p&gt;
  581. &lt;p id="hkwoDY"&gt;Again, the purpose of these laws, as DeSantis and Abbott have both said, is to elevate conservative voices who were perceived by Republicans as being unfairly censored online. But, as Kavanaugh pointed out at oral argument, the Supreme Court has long treated laws with skepticism when they seek to “&lt;a href=""&gt;enhance the relative voice&lt;/a&gt;” of a group that the government wishes to elevate. &lt;/p&gt;
  582. &lt;p id="FZwJd5"&gt;Yet, while most of the Court appeared to agree that the government cannot take control of social media moderation simply because it wants more insurrectionists or anti-vaxxers to have their tweets prominently featured, a big problem arose as the justices started examining the broad scope of these laws. &lt;/p&gt;
  583. &lt;p id="wAvFKm"&gt;The Florida law, in particular, is written broadly enough that it may also prohibit services like Gmail from moderating what users put in their emails (setting aside the question of whether Gmail has actually ever done such a thing). And an email provider, unlike a social media provider, closely resembles a telephone company or the Post Office. Unlike a newspaper or a magazine, it does not curate content. So it cannot claim the protection of &lt;em&gt;Tornillo&lt;/em&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  584. &lt;p id="PoIm42"&gt;Indeed, sorting out when the Texas and Florida laws are constitutional and when they are not may be even more complicated than distinguishing between YouTube and Gmail. &lt;/p&gt;
  585. &lt;p id="zJBQcs"&gt;Facebook, for example, offers a direct message service that allows its users to message each other directly as if they were sending them an email. So even though &lt;em&gt;Tornillo &lt;/em&gt;prohibits the government from regulating what appears on any individual user’s “news feed” — the algorithmically curated feed of content that’s Facebook’s central product — a law prohibiting Facebook from engaging in “viewpoint discrimination” in its users’ direct messages would probably be constitutional.&lt;/p&gt;
  586. &lt;p id="pf9PLO"&gt;Worse, there may be other services provided by these companies that the justices aren’t even aware of — and thus they have no way of knowing whether those services are protected by the First Amendment or not. As &lt;a href="" data-source="encore"&gt;Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson&lt;/a&gt; put it, “we’re not clear exactly how these platforms work.”&lt;/p&gt;
  587. &lt;p id="HWgTyP"&gt;And so the Court will probably be forced to send the case back down to lower courts to sort out these uncertainties.&lt;/p&gt;
  588. &lt;h3 id="bhbS2g"&gt;The only winner in the &lt;em&gt;NetChoice &lt;/em&gt;cases is likely to be NetChoice’s lawyers&lt;/h3&gt;
  589. &lt;p id="UcXGEo"&gt;If the Supreme Court does send the case back down to the lower court, that’s great news for lawyers charging NetChoice an hourly rate. It’s pretty terrible news for everyone else, however.&lt;/p&gt;
  590. &lt;p id="I0sJ7h"&gt;For starters, such a decision would not be a particularly large victory for Texas and Florida. Again, a majority of the Court seemed to agree that the core function of the law — a government takeover of social media moderation — is unconstitutional. To the extent that the law has constitutional applications, they seem to involve curing problems that don’t actually exist, such as Gmail censoring individual emails.&lt;/p&gt;
  591. &lt;p id="yBaAyJ"&gt;If the Court allows the laws to take effect, moreover, it’s not clear that the social media companies can comply with them — and complying with them would make their products vastly worse. Paul Clement, NetChoice’s lawyer, suggested at one point that the big three companies may simply prevent anyone in Texas or Florida from using their services altogether (although there is some doubt over whether Texas’s law allows them to pull out of the state). Alternatively, he suggested that they might have to engage in mass censorship.&lt;/p&gt;
  592. &lt;p id="exn5MT"&gt;As Clement pointed out at one point, a ban on “viewpoint discrimination” online means that, if a platform wants to host “suicide prevention” content, it must also host “suicide promotion” content. If it publishes content that portrays Jewish people in a favorable light, it must also host antisemitic content. Rather than turning their platforms over to pro-suicide Nazis, Clement suggested that the major platforms would simply prohibit all discussion whatsoever of suicide or Jewishness.&lt;/p&gt;
  593. &lt;p id="bINTKC"&gt;Indeed, several of the justices appeared so bothered by the implications of allowing these laws to take full effect, even temporarily, that they spent much of the argument casting about for ways to prevent that from happening. Barrett, for example, floated the possibility that the Court could write an opinion which states explicitly that many of the law’s applications are unconstitutional, before sending the case back down to the lower court to do the hard work of identifying when the law can stand and when it must fall.&lt;/p&gt;
  594. &lt;p id="1x32M1"&gt;Whatever happens, it’s likely to be messy. And, if Monday’s oral argument is any indication, no one who doesn’t get paid by the hour to represent NetChoice in court is likely to be happy with the outcome.&lt;/p&gt;
  596. </content>
  597.    <link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href=""/>
  598.    <id></id>
  599.    <author>
  600.      <name>Ian Millhiser</name>
  601.    </author>
  602.  </entry>
  603. </feed>
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