Bannon, Bannon, Bannon

There is so much reporting and analysis on Stephen Bannon. the white supremacist who Donald Trump has invited into the White House to serve as an advisor.

From the Washington Post

“If you look at the identity movements over there in Europe, I think a lot of [them] are really ‘Polish identity’ or ‘German identity,’ not racial identity,” said Bannon. “It’s more identity toward a nation-state or their people as a nation.”

Under the site’s founder, the late Andrew Breitbart, accusations of racism were dismissed as “cultural Marxism.”

Yet some of the highest praise for Bannon’s appointment came from white nationalists and white supremacists. According to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors far-right and far-left activity on the Internet, a trove of comments celebrating the news have posted on Stormfront, a website for the “White Nationalist Community,” including this one from a reader called “Pheonix1993:”

“Stephen Bannon: racist, anti-homo, anti-immigrant, anti-jewish, anti-establishment. Declared war on (((Paul Ryan))) Sounds perfect. The man who will have Trump’s ear more than anyone else. Being anti-jewish is not illegal.”

Additionally, the white nationalist writer Richard Spencer posted this late Sunday on Twitter: “Bannon will answer directly to Trump and focus on the big picture, and not get lost in the weeds. Bannon is not a ‘chief of staff,’ which requires a ‘golden retriever’ personality. He’ll be freed up to chart Trump’s macro trajectory.”

Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart became an anti-“globalist” news site clearly aligned with the European far right. It attracts self-described white supremacists with such headlines as “Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, renegade Jew.” It offers a steady stream of opinion essays, such as one by Milo Yiannopoulos in March describing anti-Semitic caricatures as the “long hair and rock ’n’ roll” of 2016.

Direct evidence of racist or anti-Semitic statements by Bannon is harder to find. According to a 2007 court statement, Bannon’s ex-wife accused him of not wanting their twin daughters attending a California private school because its student body included too many Jews.

The scrutiny will only intensify.

And this from The New York Times.

But critics of Mr. Bannon continued to raise questions about his background and his tenure as the chairman of Breitbart News. A 2011 radio interview surfaced in which Mr. Bannon praised Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin by saying they were not “a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New England.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the selection of Mr. Bannon “sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House.”

That view was echoed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and said Mr. Trump “should rescind this hire.”

“In his victory speech, Trump said he intended to be president for ‘all Americans,’” the center said. “Bannon should go.”

Republicans who had long opposed Mr. Trump’s candidacy also took to Twitter on Sunday night and Monday morning to warn that his choice to rely on the advice of Mr. Bannon was an indication of the way he would govern.

“The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office,” said John Weaver, a Republican strategist who ran the presidential campaign of Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and previously advised Senator John McCain of Arizona. “Be very vigilant, America.”

Jewish leaders and supporters of Israel expressed alarm at Mr. Bannon’s appointment, pointing to anti-Semitic writings on the Breitbart website.

“In his roles as editor of the Breitbart website and as a strategist in the Trump campaign, Mr. Bannon was responsible for the advancement of ideologies antithetical to our nation, including anti-Semitism, misogyny, racism and Islamophobia,” said Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. “There should be no place for such views in the White House.”

Federal Court Rules Title VII Bans Sexual Orientation Discrimination

This is big news.  This is the type of issue that was not raised in the just concluded presidential campaign, but is the foundational type of issue that made the courts and selection of judges the main reason I made my choice between the candidates.

Pennsylvania may have gone mysteriously red in the dark of election night, but a federal judge in that state has just ruled that Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. This court joins a small but growing number of federal district courts to reach this conclusion, queuing up perhaps yet another appeal that pushes this issue closer to the Supreme Court.

The tides turned with an EEOC ruling in 2015, in which the agency concluded that alleged discrimination against a gay man—because he was gay—constituted a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law banning employment discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics such as sex, race, ethnicity, and religion.  The EEOC sparked a second look at this question, decades after several courts had dismissively, and with little reasoning, concluded that the law’s prohibition of sex discrimination is not broad enough to encompass sexual orientation discrimination. The new case from a federal district court in Pennsylvania, EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, builds on a more recent trend, in which courts (and the EEOC) draw on more contemporary thinking about the nature of sexual orientation discrimination and its relationship to gender.