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Christmas Lights Need a Supply-Chain Miracle

Even holiday decorations are facing shortages this season.
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Mark Meadows to stop working with House Jan. 6 committee: report
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer work with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to a report.
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Mass Migration is Dramatically Shifting Black Power. Just Look at Chicago.
What happens to onetime 'Chocolate Cities' when their Black population starts disappearing? The Windy City is finding out.
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College Football bowl season betting angles to watch, avoid
In a normal year, the college football bowl season is crazy and unpredictable.
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The hideous legal obstacles facing DOJ’s new anti-gerrymandering lawsuit in Texas
Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court as it hears a case on possible partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures on October 3, 2017. | Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call The Biden administration makes a persuasive case that Texas violated the Voting Rights Act, but the Supreme Court hates the Voting Rights Act. On Monday, the Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Texas’s new state house and congressional district maps violate the Voting Rights Act, which forbids gerrymanders that have the purpose or effect of abridging “the right to vote on account of race, color, or language minority status.” The Justice Department’s complaint in United States v. Texas is a fine, workmanlike legal document that makes a strong case that Texas drew its maps in order to maximize white power within the state and minimize the impact of Black and Latino voters. It’s the sort of lawsuit that would have a good shot at prevailing — if the Supreme Court hadn’t spent the past decade dismantling nearly all of the Voting Rights Act. As the complaint notes, between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, “Texas grew by nearly 4 million residents, and the minority population represents 95% of that growth.” Because of this population growth, Texas’s US House delegation expanded from 36 seats to 38 seats in the decennial redistricting process. Yet Texas drew its new maps so that both of the new districts will have white majorities, and it also allegedly redrew a third district to prevent Latinos from electing their preferred candidate. The result is that white voters will gain the ability to elect two additional congressional representatives, even though Texas owes its two new seats almost entirely to Black, Asian, and Latino voters. The Justice Department also alleges that both the new congressional maps and the new state house maps drastically underrepresent voters of color. If Latinos controlled seats proportional to their population, the complaint claims, they would control “11 Congressional seats and 45 Texas House seats.” Black voters, meanwhile, would control “5 Congressional seats and 20 Texas House seats.” Instead, under the new maps, “Latino voters have the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates in 7 Congressional seats and 29 Texas House seats,” and “Black voters have the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates in roughly 3 Congressional seats and 13 Texas House seats.” (There is one additional congressional seat and five additional state house seats that might elect candidates preferred by a coalition of Black, Latino, and other nonwhite voters.) Yet it’s uncertain whether the Justice Department is capable of prevailing in this lawsuit, no matter what evidence it presents at trial. That’s how hostile the Supreme Court’s Republican appointees are toward the Voting Rights Act. As Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissenting opinion in Brnovich v. DNC (2021), the Court “has treated no statute worse” than the Voting Rights Act. The Court has also shielded states from federal lawsuits alleging partisan gerrymandering — a decision that potentially gives Texas a powerful weapon it can use against the Justice Department’s allegation that its new maps are an unlawful racial gerrymander. The Supreme Court has made it nearly impossible to prove that maps were enacted with racist intent In Rucho v. Common Cause (2019), the Supreme Court held that federal courts may not hear lawsuits alleging that a state’s legislative maps are an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander — meaning that the lines were drawn to benefit one party at the expense of another. The Court’s precedents, however, do permit lawsuits challenging racial gerrymanders — meaning that the lines were drawn to diminish the power of one or more racial groups. In practice, however, Rucho creates a potentially serious problem for anyone alleging racial gerrymandering. Recall that the Voting Rights Act prohibits election laws enacted for the purpose of limiting a racial group’s voting power, or that have the effect of doing so. Suppose that the Justice Department leans into the first of these two prongs: the prohibition on laws that are enacted with racist intent. In that case, Texas is likely to argue, as it has in previous cases accusing it of racial gerrymandering, that its new maps weren’t drawn in order to reduce the power of Black and Latino voters. It will most likely argue that the maps were drawn for the purpose of reducing the power of Democratic voters. Such an argument might even be superficially plausible. As the Justice Department argues in its complaint, “voting in Texas continues to be racially polarized throughout much of the State” — meaning that white voters tend to vote for Republicans and Black and Latino voters tend to vote for Democrats. So it’s fairly difficult to prove conclusively that the new maps were drawn with racist intent. A set of maps drawn to maximize the power of white Texans, and a set of maps drawn to maximize the power of Texas Republicans, are likely to closely resemble each other because race is a good proxy for partisan affiliation in Texas — as it is in much of the United States. Of course, this argument that partisan gerrymandering is distinct from racial gerrymandering could fail — and, in a fair court, it probably would fail. If state lawmakers intentionally minimized the influence of Black and Latino voters because they knew those voters were likely to be Democrats, that’s still intentional race discrimination. But if the Justice Department wants to show that Texas’s new maps were drawn with invidious racial intent, it still must overcome another of the Court’s decisions: Abbott v. Perez (2018). Perez held that lawmakers enjoy a high presumption of racial innocence when they are accused of drawing racially gerrymandered maps. In that case, the Court considered legislative maps that Texas’s Republican legislature drew in 2011, and then altered in 2013. The 2011 maps never took effect because of litigation alleging that they were an unlawful racial gerrymander. Yet in 2012, while this litigation was ongoing, a federal court drew interim maps that closely resembled the racially gerrymandered 2011 maps, so that Texas had something it could use to hold an election in 2012. The purpose of these stopgap maps wasn’t to declare any portion of the 2011 maps legally valid. It was just to ensure that the 2012 election could still move forward in Texas. Then, in 2013, the Texas legislature adopted these stopgap maps as its own — including several districts that were still being challenged as unlawful racial gerrymanders. In upholding these 2013 maps, Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Perez emphasizes that “whenever a challenger claims that a state law was enacted with discriminatory intent, the burden of proof lies with the challenger, not the State.” Alito then explained that this burden is quite high. He deemed the 2013 maps legitimate because, he claimed, the evidence showed that Texas enacted them because it “wanted to bring the litigation about the State’s districting plans to an end as expeditiously as possible.” Alito’s argument, in other words, was that the 2013 maps weren’t enacted to preserve a racial gerrymander; they were enacted to shut down litigation challenging a racial gerrymander. And this distinction was sufficient to absolve the state legislature of any allegation of racism. Needless to say, the sort of Court that would rely on such a meaningless distinction is unlikely to be sympathetic to DOJ’s new lawsuit against Texas — and the Court has grown significantly more conservative since Perez was decided. Perez will also shape lower court decisions applying the Voting Rights Act, because lower courts are obligated to follow Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court does not care about what the Voting Rights Act actually says Alternatively, the Justice Department can argue that Texas’s maps are illegal because they have the effect of diminishing minority voting power, even if they were not enacted with racist intent. The Voting Rights Act does not simply bar intentional discrimination, it also prohibits any election law that “results in a denial or abridgement of the right ... to vote on account of race or color.” But in Brnovich, the Court imposed a number of novel and completely atextual limits on this provision of the Voting Rights Act. Among other things, Brnovich held that there is a strong presumption that voting restrictions that were commonplace in 1982 are valid — even though the text of the law says nothing about the year 1982. Brnovich also applied a similar presumption to laws that purport to combat fraud at the polls — even though there’s nothing in the law’s text supporting this presumption either. One of the few silver linings of the Brnovich decision is that its holding is limited to only certain kinds of cases. The Court distinguished between cases alleging “vote-dilution” — and gerrymandering cases are considered vote-dilution cases — and cases challenging laws regulating the “time, place, or manner” in which elections are conducted. The specific extratextual limits on the Voting Rights Act that were fabricated by the Brnovich opinion do not apply to vote-dilution cases. But the Justice Department should take no comfort in that fact. Brnovich is a troubling case not only because it imposes novel and entirely made-up new limits on certain Voting Rights Act cases. It is also troubling because of what it says about the Court’s overarching approach to the Voting Rights Act. Simply put, if the Court is willing to make up new limits on a federal statute that appear nowhere in the text of the law, and apply those limits in “time, place, or manner” lawsuits, there’s no reason to believe that it won’t invent similarly atextual limits and impose them on vote-dilution cases. As Justice Kagan wrote in her Brnovich dissent, “the majority’s opinion mostly inhabits a law-free zone.” Once a court enters that zone, there are no longer any constraints on its judges. Brnovich doesn’t necessarily mean that the Court will never rule in favor of a voting rights plaintiff — in this case, the Justice Department. But it does suggest that the Court will do whatever the hell it wants in voting rights cases, regardless of what the law actually says.
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An angry rift between Trump and Steve Bannon signals the far right’s future
Bannon attacks Trump's Senate candidate in Georgia as too soft for the coming right wing war.
Former CDC Director Tom Frieden Warns Of 'Hard Winter' as Omicron Ravages U.S.
Dr. Tom Frieden said every adult in America should be offered the booster jab to help protect the country from the virus.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker Joins a Wave of Airline CEOs Retiring Amid Pandemic Struggles
(DALLAS) — American Airlines CEO Doug Parker will retire in March and be replaced by its current president, Robert Isom, as the airline seeks to rebuild after massive losses caused by the pandemic. Parker, 60, has led Texas-based American since late 2013, when he engineered a merger with smaller US Airways. He will remain as…
Facial Scanning Tech Spots Woman Using Sister's Passport, COVID Vaccine Card to Cross U.S.-Canada Border
According to Customs and Border Protection, since 2018 over "1,100 impostors" have been detected by facial scanning technology at ports of entry into the U.S.
Senior Republican warns postal reform at risk if DeJoy's job is threatened
Alienating the lawmaker likely to chair the House oversight panel in 2023 would start a GOP majority on a rough note for the Biden administration.
Black man gets new trial after jury met in room with Confederate symbols
Tim Gilbert was granted a new trial Friday by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals after being convicted by an all-white jury who deliberated in a room adorned with Confederate symbols.
Scooter Braun’s estranged wife, Yael Cohen, responds to divorce filing
The F--k Cancer founder requested that the music manager pay her spousal support, which he already agreed to do. She also wants joint custody of their kids.
Mom Says Her Son Got Vaccinated for Pizza Without Her Consent
Maribel Duarte said she should was concerned about her son getting vaccinated due to his underlying health issues.
‘Frozen’ Sophie Scott still enjoyed boyfriend Mac Jones’ three-pass win
Sophie Scott wasn't going to let a little cold get in the way of boyfriend Mac Jones' "Monday Night Football" debut with the Patriots, who won, 14-10.
Dave Chappelle Added to Netflix Comedy Festival Line-Up After Controversy
Comedian Dave Chappelle, who faced backlash for jokes he made about the transgender community in his Netflix special, will perform at the streamer's festival.
NY Gov. Hochul remains front runner over Democratic rivals in 2022 primary; de Blasio at back of pack
A new poll among New York State Democrats is the latest to indicate that Gov. Kathy Hochul remains the front runner in an increasingly crowded 2022 primary field.
Tom Cotton slams Biden on Beijing Olympics: 'They had no plan to protect our athletes'
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., slammed the Biden administration on 'America's Newsroom' for failing to have a plan in place to protect U.S. athletes during the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Jussie Smollett Trial Live Updates: Smollett Returns to the Witness Stand
The former "Empire" actors will take the witness stand again Tuesday. Smollett is accused of staging a fake racist attack in 2019. Follow Newsweek's liveblog for all the latest.
Apple AirTags Are Being Used by Car Thieves to Track High-End Vehicles
A police department recently warned residents about the new car theft trend, advising them to regularly inspect their vehicles for "any suspicious potential tracking devices."
Philadelphia DA Krasner says city doesn not 'have a crisis of crime' despite record homicides
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Monday the city is not plagued by a crime crisis despite a record number of homicides in 2021.
Brooke Shields Says Barbara Walters’ Invasive 1981 Interview Was “Practically Criminal”
In 1980, Shields became the face of a controversial Calvin Klein campaign at just 15 years old.
Facebook sued for $150 billion over violence against Rohingya in Myanmar
Rohingya refugees are suing Facebook over its own admitted failure to stop the spread of hate speech that contributed to violence in Myanmar.
3 Myths About Pearl Harbor, According to a Military Historian
Tuesday marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, killing some 2,400 American servicemen and leading the U.S. to enter World War II. And 80 years later, myths and misunderstandings persist about what President Franklin Roosevelt called “a day that will live in infamy.” “The attack on Pearl…
‘Big Brother’ star in Argentina says she was haunted for months after an exorcist rid her body of demons
Andrea Rincón, 36, who was on the Argentinian version of Big Brother, opened up about the horrifying experience on the popular radio show 'Un Dia Perfecto'.
Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows refusing to appear for deposition with Jan. 6 committee
The committee had said last week that Meadows had produced records and would soon appear for an initial deposition.
Omicron v. delta: Battle of coronavirus mutants is critical
As the omicron coronavirus variant spreads in southern Africa and pops up in countries all around the world, scientists are anxiously watching a battle play out that could determine the future of the pandemic. Can the latest competitor to the world-dominating delta overthrow it?
Beverly Hills police chief on California crime spikes: Same criminals being caught 'over and over again'
Beverly Hills’ police chief spoke out Tuesday following the shooting of Los Angeles-based philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, citing a ‘confluence’ of factors in rising criminal activity, including liberal laws and policies that he says have ‘decriminalized’ a multitude of crimes in California.
‘Sex and the City’ star Chris Noth calls Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall feud ‘sad and uncomfortable’
Chris Noth is starring as Mr. Big in HBO Max's "And Just Like That..."
Kiernan Shipka Teases There’s a “Strong Possibility” Sabrina Could Return to ‘Riverdale’
"I don't think that we're done with Sabrina entirely," Shipka told Decider.'s CEO just burnished his reputation as a bully
Editor's Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN Business' Nightcap newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free, here.
A Covid Treatment That Promises to Fight Off Omicron
GlaxoSmithKline says its antibody treatment sotrovimab is effective at preventing serious illness, even with the latest variant. But it’s still no substitute for vaccines.
What The Heck Happened With That Breadfruit on ‘Below Deck’?
"It smells like rotten vagina."
Wife of former NFL quarterback Cade McNown arrested
Christina McNown, the wife of former UCLA and NFL quarterback Cade McNown, has been arrested for allegedly stealing luxury goods, TMZ reported on Tuesday. Cade and Christina McNown The mother of four, who works as a stylist, was arrested following an investigation that noted she “allegedly lifted” designer items, such as purses, clothing, and jewelry,...
Daunte Wright shooting: BLM protester charged with intimidating Kim Potter trial judge held in Wisconsin
The Black Lives Matter protester charged with intimidating the judge presiding over the case for Kim Potter likely won’t be extradited back to Minnesota until after the ex-police officer’s trial over the shooting of Daunte Wright concludes.
Take a look inside Jeffrey Epstein’s creepy Manhattan lair
The images reveal what FBI agents and the NYPD discovered when they raided the dead pedophile's seven-story Upper East Side home in July 2019.
Elon Musk Has It All Wrong on Subsidies
If any company has benefited from government support, it’s Tesla.
‘Ted Lasso’ Star Hannah Waddingham Stole the Show in ‘Michael Bublé’s Christmas in the City’
She's way more than just Rebecca.
The Only Two Pieces of Advice You’ll Ever Need
There are two kinds of people who can almost always help you achieve your goals, whatever they might be.
Chris Cuomo saga: MSNBC primetime hosts continue ignoring scandal plaguing CNN
None of MSNBC's biggest stars, including Cuomo's former rival Rachel Maddow, have mentioned the CNN scandal.
Price for USA's cheapest cars up 50% on used market
Used prices for the Chevrolet Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage are up 50% compared to last year, and that's not even the biggest increase.
Tayshia Adams walks off ‘Men Tell All’ after addressing Zac Clark breakup
The Season 16 "Bachelorette" told co-host Kaitlyn Bristowe during Monday night's special that she is "heartbroken" over the end of her engagement.
Dan Hardy gives 'better martial artist all around' Charles Oliveira good chance to beat Dustin Poirier
Dan Hardy finds it hard to pick against lightweight champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269.       Related StoriesDan Hardy gives 'better martial artist all around' Charles Oliveira good chance to beat Dustin Poirier - EnclosureVideo: UFC 269 'Countdown' for Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin PoirierVideo: UFC 269 'Countdown' for Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena
Chicago police cancel days off for officers following violent weekend
The Chicago Police Department is canceling upcoming days off for its rank-and-file “to address current crime patterns” following a series of violent incidents that took place over the weekend, reports say.
Norwegian Wolves Are Extinct, With No Genetic Trace Left Behind
Scientists confirm the wolf population that roamed Norway and Sweden for around 12,000 years was wiped out by humans.
Read: Mark Meadows' letter to January 6 committee
Former Donald Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riot, according to a letter obtained by CNN from his attorney to the panel.
Internet Backs Couple Buying Deliberately Annoying Christmas Gifts for Nieces and Nephews
The couple bought gifts designed to drive their sibling parents to distraction as part of an ingenious revenge.
Fact Check: Has Israel Announced a Fourth COVID Vaccine Shot for All Citizens?
Scientists have stressed the importance of booster shots as the COVID vaccines become less effective over time.
Merrick Garland Sees the Big Picture
Garland has been criticized for not pursuing former President Donald Trump over the January 6 Capitol riot.
Gilgamesh tablet stolen 30 years ago returns to Iraq
A small clay tablet dating back 3,500 years and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh that was looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago and recently recovered from the United States formally returned to Iraq on Tuesday.