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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Should Public Servants Receive Great Rewards for Great Results? UPDATE: Local Paper Slams School Board

Centinela Valley High School District superintendent Jose Fernandez earns more in total compensation than President Barack Obama--$271,000 in salary, plus nearly $400,000 in benefits (Obama earns $569,000.) The taxpayers and the unions are outraged, but the school board unanimously approved his contract in 2012 after Fernandez was credited with turning the district's finances around and improving test scores in two schools. Feb 11, 2014 9:29 AM PT

Tennessee Republicans: No State Cash for VW if Unions Win Election

Tennessee Republicans, who control a two-thirds supermajority in the state legislature and essentially govern alone, have warned Volkswagen that if the United Auto Workers (UAW) win an election this week to represent VW's new plant in Chattanooga, the company cannot expect to receive any future state-funded economic incentives. According to Hollie Webb of the Chattanoogan, the message delivered by State Senator Bo Watson on Monday was also aimed indirectly at the VW workers who will be voting Wednesday through Friday. Feb 11, 2014 7:39 AM PT

If You Can't Kill the Terrorists, Sue Them

The Tower has a fascinating profile of Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal non-profit that helps victims of terror sue the terrorists, organizations, and governments responsible for deadly attacks and incitement. Shurat HaDin also fights against attempts by the Israeli legal and political left (often funded by liberal American Jews) to interpret international law in ways that could harm Israeli security. Feb 11, 2014 7:06 AM PT

Report: Former Obama Labor Sec'y Accused of Unreported Jet Flights

A lawsuit filed in federal court in California reportedly accuses former Obama administration Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis of accepting free private jet flights, paid for by a powerful local union, during her confirmation and without disclosing the flights as in-kind gifts as required by law. The lawsuit is reportedy a RICO claim filed by union members alleging corruption by leaders of Local 12 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. Feb 11, 2014 6:03 AM PT

Auto Workers vs. Unions at Tennessee Volkswagen Plant

On Wednesday, workers at Volkswagen's new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee will vote on whether they wish to be represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW), the union that critics say brought the American auto industry to its knees. Auto manufacturing, particularly by foreign companies, has boomed across the American South as a result of right-to-work laws that have made those states more attractive than Michigan, or Europe. Feb 10, 2014 1:20 PM PT

Iran's Phony Nuclear Concessions

Even as Iran steps up its aggressive rhetoric to the point of directly threatening the U.S. and Israel, the media are falling for the latest in the regime's diplomatic feints: namely, concessions that would allow U.N. inspectors greater access to Iranian nuclear sites, as well as information about explosive devices used in nuclear weapons. Feb 10, 2014 12:44 PM PT

Dry Times Make Bad Water Law

In law school, students are often told: "Hard cases make bad law." That is, drawing general principles from the most complex cases may not always be a good idea. In the same way, the California drought could offer a new maxim for environmental management: "Dry times make bad water management." When water is scarce, new proposals that have languished for years suddenly come to the fore--and not all of them are very good ideas. Feb 10, 2014 11:56 AM PT

Finally! Serious Rain, Snow Hit California

The drought crisis is far from over, but Californians were grateful for a weekend storm so powerful that it dumped three feet of snow on ski resorts around Lake Tahoe and knocked out power in northern parts of the state.  Feb 10, 2014 9:30 AM PT

Tuesday's Mayoral Showdown in San Diego

You may be surprised to learn that there is still a mayor's race going on in San Diego--the resignation of Bob Filner seems like ancient history--but it's happening on Tuesday, and it's going down to the wire. The GOP candidate, City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, seemed like a shoo-in to win after Filner, the city's first Democrat mayor in recent memory, resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations. But that's not the case. Feb 10, 2014 6:24 AM PT

Epic Fail: Kerry Blasted By Israeli Left (Yes, the Left)

Until now, opinion of the Obama administration's latest efforts to impose a "framework" for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been split along partisan and ideological lines. However, the Jersualem Post reported Sunday that Israel's left-wing Meretz party, which for years has agitated for territorial concessions to the Palestinians, blasted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "of making major mistakes in the peace process." Feb 9, 2014 2:30 PM PT

Why are Democrats Rarely Published for Saying Stupid Things?

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) did his part Sunday morning to demonstrate why Obamacare will continue to be the most important issue for Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections. In response to the Congressional Budget Office's latest projection last week that 2.5 million Americans will leave the labor force in response to Obamacare, Ellison said: "This is a good thing....We might want to look at our work-life balance."  Feb 9, 2014 9:06 AM PT

Arizona vs. California: A Tale of Two Droughts

Astonishingly low rainfall. Low snow levels on the mountains. Rivers at two to three percent of normal levels. And yet--plenty of water for the state's farms, lawns and gardens. It's not California, where Gov. Jerry Brown has warned residents to cut back on water use, and seventeen rural communities face extreme water shortages. It's neighboring Arizona, where the state has done a superior job of developing water reservoirs for dry years. Feb 9, 2014 8:41 AM PT

Free Victoria Nuland, and 'F--- the EU'

The Obama administration's latest diplomatic flub involves Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who told the U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine to "f--- the E.U." in his efforts to assist the Ukranian opposition in its confrontation with the Russian-backed government. Ms. Nuland has already apologized, which makes sense for diplomatic reasons, though she had nothing for which to say sorry. Feb 9, 2014 6:06 AM PT

5 Thoughts on Iran's Simulated Attack on Israel, U.S.

Iranian state television aired a simulated airstrike on Israel and on American targets on Friday, as a warning of the kind of response that could be expected if either country attacked Iran's nuclear program. The broadcast needs to be taken seriously: what an enemy is willing to imagine, it is willing to execute. And it is also worth noting that while the Obama administration is keen to look accommodating, Iran is stepping up its threats. Yet there are a few other things worth noting about the video, beyond the basic fact that it was aired at all. Feb 8, 2014 11:29 PM PT

Iran: The Real 'Linkage'

Many of those so-called "realists" who inspired Barack Obama's opposition to the Iraq War and accompanied him into the administration believed in the theory of "linkage"--that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was closely linked to threats against the U.S., and was in fact the primary reason that the U.S. was targeted by terrorists and disliked by other regional powers, including Iran. Reality, in fact, has proved otherwise in the past few years. Feb 8, 2014 10:24 PM PT


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