Joel B. Pollak

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large and in-house counsel at Breitbart News. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he also has a degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town. He ran for Congress in 2010 in his hometown of Skokie, IL and worked as a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, as well as speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the South African Parliament. He enjoys improv comedy, rock 'n' roll, and the literature of liberal apostates and iconoclasts. His wife Julia is a Ph.D. Fellow at the Pardee Rand Graduate School and his daughter Maya is unbelievably cute.


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Sandra Fluke on Hobby Lobby: 'A Woman's Boss Should Not Have a Say'

Sandra Fluke, whose campaign for free contraception elevated her to national prominence while she was still a law student at Georgetown University, denounced to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case: "A woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions," Fluke stated on Twitter. Jun 30, 2014 11:20 AM PT

Dem Rep Blames 'MEN' for Hobby Lobby Decision

Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, has blamed "MEN" (original caps) for the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Monday. The majority held that the federal government violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when it required owners of a closely-held corporation to provide insurance coverage for abortifacient contraceptives against their faith. Jun 30, 2014 10:55 AM PT

Awkward Family Photos: You Belong in a Museum

The California Heritage Musuem, located in Santa Monica, features several rooms of artifacts from the state's early days, as well as new work from local artists. And now, it also houses an exhibit devoted to an Internet meme: Awkward Family Photos. The material for the exhibit is drawn directly from the blog of the same name, which creates the curious experience of walking through a presentation that visitors could easily see online. Jun 30, 2014 8:25 AM PT

Homeless People Shower on New Bus in San Francisco

In May, San Francisco introduced the "Hook-up Truck," providing intimate space for couples on the go. Now, the city is welcoming the "Lava Mae," a public shower on a bus, aimed at the city's large homeless population. Jun 30, 2014 6:41 AM PT

After 20 Years, the 'Rebbe' Still Casts a Long, Warm Shadow

July 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Schneerson was a uniquely charismatic and visionary leader, who pushed back against the postwar trends of secularism and disenchantment and presented religious Judaism as a positive force. In so doing, he inspired hundreds of thousands of Jews to embrace their faith and revived Judaism in post-Communist Eastern Europe. Jun 29, 2014 2:37 PM PT

California Legislator Turns Tables on Texas

State Senator Ted Gaines, who represents parts of Northern California, will turn the tables on Texas Gov. Rick Perry this week when he visits Texas to recruit companies to invest in the Golden State. Gov. Perry has become notorious for his frequent visits to, and ad campaigns in, California as he touts Texas as the preferred choice for investment. In one recent visit, Perry made a pitch for Tesla to put its new electric-car battery factory in Texas. Jun 29, 2014 6:47 AM PT

California on Hold as Mexico Plays Netherlands

Life on Sunday will be slower--and more tense--than usual, as Mexico faces the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time on Sunday. The match will take place at Fortaleza, in northeast Brazil, and will feature two of the strongest teams in the tournament. The Netherlands were dominant in Group B, winning all three of their matches, while Mexico's only Group A draw came against hosts Brazil. Jun 29, 2014 5:59 AM PT

Blue State Blues: 24 Hours, 5 Cities and No High-Speed Rail

(6:30 a.m.) For the past 24 hours, I have been on the move. Early Thursday morning, a colleague picked me up at home and we drove south to Anaheim on the I-405 and CA-22. We caught Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to Solana Beach, then took an Uber south to La Jolla on I-5. We did the same in reverse, whereupon she drove me to Long Beach Airport. I caught the 3:15 JetBlue flight to Oakland, took the BART to San Francisco, then took the overnight Greyhound back to L.A. Jun 27, 2014 6:21 AM PT

Boies, Olson Predict Gay Marriage Nationwide

Hundreds gathered at the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday evening to hear lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson discuss their new book, Reedeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality. Boies, a Democrat, and Olson, a Republican, sued to repeal Proposition 8, California’s law banning same-sex marriage, which met its end a year ago at the U.S. Supreme Court. Jun 27, 2014 2:09 AM PT

For Rick Perry, California Visits Offer Practice for 2016

When my Breitbart California colleague Adelle Nazarian and I met Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the magnificent La Valencia hotel in tony La Jolla, he looked more like a venture capital executive than a governor. Jun 26, 2014 3:00 PM PT

Scalia: SCOTUS Still Defies the Constitution in Appointments Case

Justice Antonin Scalia concurred with the majority on the Supreme Court in the unanimous decision to strike down President Barack Obama's "recess" appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in NLRB v. Noel Canning. However, he wrote that the majority's interpretation, which still allows the president to make recess appointments when the Senate is not yet between sessions, departs from the original text of the Constitution. Jun 26, 2014 9:02 AM PT

Breakthrough: California Endorses Levin's Article V Convention

Liberal Democrats in California's state legislature have endorsed a conservative proposal to use a process that is described in Article V of the U.S. Constitution to call a convention for the purpose of drafting new amendments. The proposal for an Article V convention, which has never been used since the constitution was ratified, was endorsed by conservative talk radio host Mark R. Levin in 2013 in a bestselling book, The Liberty Amendments. Jun 26, 2014 5:27 AM PT

Poll: Kashkari Trails Brown by 20%

Republican moderate Neel Kashkari begins his gubernatorial challenge to incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown 20 points behind in the latest Field Poll, released Wednesday morning. While Kashkari appears to have cemented his support among Republicans, Brown leads Kashkari among almost every other group of voters. Regionally, Brown leads everywhere except in parts of Southern California outside L.A., San Diego and Orange County. Jun 25, 2014 6:40 AM PT

Politico Celebrates Cochran: 'Cantor Looks Like an Outlier'

Politico's James Hohmann has released his list of "takeaways" from Tuesday's primaries, among which is the claim that Eric Cantor's loss in Virginia earlier this month is "an outlier" in 2014. Leaving out Tea Party victories in places like Nebraska, or the fact that Chris McDaniel forced incumbent Thad Cochran into a runoff in the first place, Hohmann sounds the all-clear for "the GOP establishment...and incumbents of both parties." Jun 25, 2014 6:32 AM PT

Shame: SF Gay Pride Parade Bans Military Recruiters

The San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade has banned military recruiters from participating in the 44th annual event this weekend, the most iconic of its kind in the world, due to the National Guard's policy against transgendered service members, and in protest against sexual assaults in the military, the Daily Caller reports Wednesday. Jun 25, 2014 5:43 AM PT

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