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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U.S. Should Release Pollard Anyway--Not for Bogus Negotiations

Reports are circulating that President Barack Obama might pardon Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who has spent nearly three decades in prison, as a way of enticing Israel to continue its participation in peace talks with the Palestinian Authority that have gone nowhere. This is a manifestly bad idea for everyone involved. Mar 25, 2014 6:45 AM PT

Israel's Diplomats at War with Their Government

The employees of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared an open-ended strike earlier this week, leaving Israel without foreign representation and consular services at a crucial time. While anti-Israel activists rally for boycotts, and world powers continue negotiating with Iran over the future of its nuclear program, Israel's diplomatic corps is squabbling with the Ministry of Finance over levels of pay to diplomatic staff abroad. Mar 25, 2014 6:36 AM PT

Obama's Turkey is Stuffed

The only sense in which Turkey is a model is the way it symbolizes many of the other failures of the Obama administration's foreign policy: the obsequious gestures, the sacrifice of core interests, the wishful thinking. If a new Turkish government arises in national elections later this year, it may wish to "reset" relations--not on the dysfunctional terms that Obama attempted to set with Erdogan, but on more solid, and traditional, footing. Mar 25, 2014 5:58 AM PT

California Democrat Drops Obamacare from Campaign Website

Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), a first-term representative whose district includes parts of Ventura County, Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley, has apparently removed her support for Obamacare from her campaign website. As recently as late February (see cached image above), Rep. Brownley claimed that the "Affordable Care Act…made some much needed improvements to our health care system." That section is now gone. Mar 24, 2014 1:04 PM PT

Unions vs. Reform Democrats over California Pension Reform

Last week, Chuck Reed, the Democratic mayor of San Jose, abandoned an effort to place a referendum on the state ballot in November that would do for California what he did for San Jose in 2012--namely, bring massive unfunded pension liabilities under control. However, intervention by California Attorney General Kamela Harris, on behalf of the powerful yet self-destructive California unions, have made the referendum impossible. Mar 24, 2014 5:47 AM PT

You Can Love Trains, and Still Dislike High-Speed Rail, in California

I'm writing this particular piece on the southbound Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Diego. My daughter and I are on our way to pick up my wife from her Navy base, where she's on reserve duty at the moment. We're going to drive her back home, since she's exhausted from turning wrenches at the shop and taking final exams all week long. I note that we're not taking the train back on the return leg, as much as we might like the idea. Mar 23, 2014 12:54 PM PT

The Brainy Bracket: Fun While It Lasted

In March Madness, you live and die by the upsets. And that's what happened to the "brainy bracket," my attempt to pick the winners based on their academic ranking in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. I picked Stanford to upset Kansas, and of course Harvard to win in the early rounds. But Duke and Villanova--my eventual winner--crashed out in upsets of their own, sending my bracket from the top to the bottom of the heap. Mar 23, 2014 11:49 AM PT

For Pacifica Radio, the Revolution is Ending

Far-left KPFK, otherwise known as Pacifica Radio, has been broadcasting progressive propaganda throughout California, and across the world, for many years. (In South Africa, where I lived for several years, you could hear archival Pacifica broadcasts by Noam Chomsky and other radicals late at night on community stations like Bush Radio.) Now, however, Pacifica may be collapsing from within, according to Hillel Aron of L.A. Weekly. Mar 23, 2014 6:23 AM PT

L.A. Times: Conservatives Lobbying for Marijuana

The Los Angeles Times' Evan Halper documents what attendees at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, D.C. also noted: namely, that there is a sharp rise among conservatives in enthusiasm for, and interest in, liberalizing marijuana laws. Conservative legislators are embracing a rising business constituency in marijana growers and dispensary owners, who are actively courting their interest. Mar 23, 2014 5:25 AM PT

Oakland Pays Wounded Occupy Protestor $4.5 Million for Injuries

Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who suffered a fractured skull and related injuries when he was hit with a projectile fired by police on the front line of the Occupy Oakland protest in October 2011, has reached a $4.5 million settlement with the city. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Olsen's settlement is one of a series of settlement the city is reaching with alleged or proven victims of the excessive use of force by Oakland police. Mar 23, 2014 4:59 AM PT

NYT Hopes Pope Inspires Obama to 'Return' to Inequality

The perpetual amnesia of the mainstream media regarding much of what President Barack Obama never ceases to amaze. In Sunday's New York Times, Jason Horowith previews Obama's meeting later this week with Pope Francis by exploring the president's early work as a community organizer sponsored by the Catholic church. The hope among Obama's old colleagues, Horowitz says, is that he will "return to the church’s social justice values"--as if inequality, redistribution, and attacks on the rich have not been staples of his presidency. Mar 23, 2014 4:27 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Fleeing Democrats Will Turn Texas Blue

In Los Angeles this week, three city council members blamed fracking for an earthquake, though they are not actually certain whether any fracking has occurred. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is continuing his fight to crush charter schools that are primarily helping black and Hispanic children. In Illinois, the House Speaker announced plans to raise taxes on millionaires, despite proof that doing so will hurt the state's ailing economy. Mar 21, 2014 1:36 PM PT

Democrats Steal Tea Party Symbol to Promote Obamacare

How desperate are Democrats to sell Obamacare? So desperate that they're adopting the Tea Party's beloved symbol, the Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flag, to sell it, as per this tweet by Democrat strategist Christine Pelosi (yes, that Pelosi family). The flag is a national symbol, of course, but Democrats have spent the last several years describing it as some kind of latter-day version of the Confederate battle flag, or worse. Mar 21, 2014 8:23 AM PT

L.A. Times: Half of Callers to Covered California Give Up

Half of those who called Covered California for help in enrolling in Obamacare in February and March hung up after waiting on hold, Chad Terhune of the Los Angeles Times reports. The California program, which is touted by Obamacare's supporters as proof of the law's potential success, is still struggling to meet its enrollment goals. Mar 21, 2014 6:39 AM PT

Video: Pornography Professor Assaults Pro-Life Activist at UCSB

University of California-Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young, who teaches "Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art," among other topics, has been charged with vandalism, battery and robbery after stealing a pro-life poster from a demonstration on campus and assaulting the activist who filmed her in the act. The assault, which occurred on March 4, 2014 was caught on video by the professor's victim. Mar 21, 2014 5:09 AM PT


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