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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Roske Drops Out, Endorses Independent Williamson in Waxman Race

Brent Roske, a television producer and director who was running as an independent, has dropped out of the race for the congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and endorsed fellow independent Marianne Williamson. The Williamson campaign released a video of Roske's endorsement at its campaign headquarters on May 9, and welcomed his support as a sign of that campaign's growing momentum. May 11, 2014 5:51 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Why Do America's Rich Hate Themselves?

President Barack Obama's fundraising pilgrimage to California touched all the liberal stations: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and La Jolla. Two patterns stood out: first, that Obama continues to be heckled by friendly audiences; and second, that America's richest political donors not only tolerate attacks on wealth but enjoy them, nodding and murmuring their approval when the president tells them they are the greatest enemies. May 9, 2014 6:47 PM PT

Kashkari Campaign Blasts 'Preposterous' Donnelly 'Sharia' Claim

Republican Neel Kashkari is still blasting rival Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s claim that he was involved in encouraging sharia-compliant finance--that is, banking in accordance with Islamic law--in his role overseeing the Wall Street bailout at the U.S. Treasury, and specifically through a conference on Islamic finance in 2008. May 9, 2014 2:21 PM PT

What Really Happened at Kashkari 'Sharia' Seminar?

Debate over sharia, or Islamic law, has suddenly seized California in the midst of an election year. In Beverly Hills, Hollywood A-listers are boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel to rebuke the owner, the Sultan of Brunei, for harsh anti-gay laws passed recently in his country. And in the race for governor, Tim Donnelly has called out rival Neel Kashkari for his alleged support for Islamic banking during his tenure at the U.S. Treasury. May 9, 2014 8:48 AM PT

Opposition Advances in South African Elections

South Africa's leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) made historic strides in that country's national and provincial elections this week, reaching record high of 22% support nationally and nearly 60% in the Western Cape province, where it governs. However, the DA failed to break through the 30 percent barrier or to push the ruling African National Congress (ANC) below 60 percent. The ANC finished with over 62%. May 9, 2014 8:11 AM PT

Kashkari Campaign Misleads About Sharia Finance Conference

An adviser to Republican Neel Kashkari's gubernatorial campaign incorrectly described a 2008 conference that Kashkari addressed on sharia-compliant finance on Thursday in a fierce radio debate with rival Republican Tim Donnelly. Kashkari aide Aaron McLear called into KSCO AM 1080 during an appearance with Donnelly, saying that "What actually happened was Neel was teaching Islamic bankers how to promote free market principles in Islamic societies under Sharia law." In fact, a review of the conference agenda indicates the opposite was true. May 9, 2014 5:53 AM PT

Sultan of Brunei Loses $2 Million in Beverly Hills Backlash

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is consistently ranked among the richest men in the world. When he last visited Los Angeles in December 2011, police halted traffic on the 405 freeway--normally one of the busiest roads in the U.S.--during rush hour to allow room for his motorcade as he visited his California properties (see photo above). Yet he has suffered millions in losses in recent gay rights protests at the Beverly Hills Hotel. May 8, 2014 11:29 PM PT

Obama Heckled at Silicon Valley Fundraiser: 'You Screwed up My Ending'

President Barack Obama took his message of fighting economic inequality to an audience of wealthy Silicon Valley executives who gathered at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose on Thursday evening. A heckler interrupted the president, shouting, "Freedom for Ethiopia!" Obama scolded: "You kind of screwed up my ending." May 8, 2014 10:01 PM PT

Obama Complains to Hollywood Donors of 'Frustration'

President Barack Obama told donors at an exclusive Hollywood fundraiser for the Democratic Party that he needed their help to undo the "frustration" of politics in Washington. There is "an anxiety, and a sense of frustration," the president--now in his sixth year of office--complained, according to a report in Variety, adding that "the challenges out there remain daunting and we have a Washington that’s not working." May 8, 2014 5:53 AM PT

Flashback: Obama Compared Jewish, German Suffering

In accepting the "Ambassador for Humanity" award from Steven Spielberg and the USC Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama recounted his 2009 trip to the concentration camp of Buchenwald--the camp his maternal grandfather helped liberate--with Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. He failed, however, to remind his audience that his itinerary on that trip also included the German city of Dresden. May 8, 2014 5:38 AM PT

Spielberg Praises Obama's Failed 'Atrocities Prevention Board'

Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg praised President Barack Obama's creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board in 2012 in awarding Obama the "Ambassador for Humanity" prize, the highest honor of the USC Shoah Foundation, in Los Angeles Wednesday evening. The Atrocities Prevention Board, however, has failed to prevent any atrocities, notably in Syria, where Obama drew "red lines" he failed to enforce. May 8, 2014 5:23 AM PT

Top 10 Obama Human Rights Failures

Hollywood superstar and power broker Steven Spielberg has recognized President Barack Obama with the USC Shoah [Holocaust] Foundation's highest award, the "Ambassador for Humanity." It is an odd award to present to a president who has been called "dangerously silent on human rights." Unlike the Nobel Peace Prize, which Obama won in 2009 in anticipation of his future achievement, this award comes after a long record of failure. May 7, 2014 12:45 PM PT

NY Jets Sued by Cheerleader

Lawsuits are contagious. In the wake of a lawsuit against the NFL by more than 4,000 former players, numerous cheerleaders have filed suit against various NFL franchises. The most recent litigation pits a disgruntled cheerleader named "Krystal C" against the New York J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. May 7, 2014 8:17 AM PT

South Africa's Election: A 'Racial Census', Again

South Africa's elections have been criticized--even by friendly observers--as a "racial census," because the voting pattern closely mirrors the country's racial makeup. The leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), wins a large majority of the white vote, while the largest governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), wins most of the black vote. Mixed-race ("coloured") and Indian voters lean towards the opposition. May 7, 2014 8:10 AM PT

Claim: Warriors Coach Fired for Christian Views on Homosexuality

Was Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson fired for his Christian views on gay marriage? That's what Ann Killion is asking at sfgate.com, noting that Jackson's lukewarm reaction to the coming-out of Jason Collins, last year was something of a mismatch for the Bay Area, which is the global capital of gay politics and culture. May 7, 2014 5:19 AM PT

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