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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Black Leader Joins 'White' Opposition in South Africa

South Africa's leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), stunned political observers Tuesday with the announcement that Mamphela Ramphele, a leading black anti-apartheid activist, will be the party's candidate for president in national elections against the troubled African National Congress later this year. The DA, whose leaders have largely been white, has struggled for decades to appeal to the black majority of voters. Jan 28, 2014 5:13 AM PT

Obama Donor Will Run Anti-Keystone Ad During SOTU

Billionaire Obama donor Tom Steyer, who is funding and leading the environmentalist campaign against the Keystone XL pipeline, will air an anti-Keystone ad on MSNBC before and after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. The minute-long ad, entitled "Sucker Punch," claims that Canada may not send its tar sand oil through the pipeline to the U.S., and implies it will send the oil to China instead. Jan 27, 2014 1:41 PM PT

Scandal in Israel: Netanyahu Son Dating Norwegian Bombshell

The latest outrage in Israel involves a bombshell--not a rocket from Gaza, but a blonde from Norway. Sandra Leikanger is 25 years old and a student at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. She is also reported to be dating fellow student Yair Netanyahu, the 23-year-old son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jan 27, 2014 11:31 AM PT

California: Only One-Third Have Regained Insurance Lost Through Obamacare

California has long been the flagship for Obamacare. It was targeted last fall by President Barack Obama's own activist group, Organizing for Action, for precisely that reason: given the strength of their volunteer efforts, they hoped the state could be a symbol for the success of Obamacare as a whole. That is why there is so much loud cheering by the media's left-wing commentators every time Covered California, the state's Obamacare program, announces that it has done something: those commentators are, to put it bluntly, in on the propaganda plan. Jan 27, 2014 5:00 AM PT

Netanyahu: 'No Chance' of Final Iran Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that there is "no chance" the West will reach a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program, following comments by Iranian officials last week that they had not agreed to dismantle any nuclear centrifuges. "If Iran will stand by that statement, that means that a permanent agreement--which is the goal of the entire diplomatic process with Iran--cannot succeed," Netanyahu said. Jan 26, 2014 9:44 AM PT

Free Mike Huckabee!

My colleague John Nolte has observed that former Gov. Mike Huckabee was "obviously trying to make a point about how Democrats view women," not attacking women, in his recent comments to the Republican National Committee. National Review's Charles C. W. Cooke documents just how mendacious the media's lies about the statement have been, noting that Huckabee said exactly the opposite of the remarks that were attributed to him. Jan 26, 2014 9:29 AM PT

What Is the Real State of the Union?

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, President Barack Obama will address Congress and the nation in his annual State of the Union address. Confidence in Obama's leadership has faded to such a degree that people are losing interest in anything he says or does. Veteran political observers--even former presidential speechwriters!--are complaining about having to watch a speech that in recent years has become boring, repetitive, and cynically ideological. Jan 26, 2014 6:12 AM PT

Schumer's Plan for Beating the Tea Party: More Government!

Sen. Chuck Schumer's speech denouncing the Tea Party has received a bit of mockery on conservative talk radio this week. Yet it is worth exploring in greater depth, because it reveals the confusion--and the deception--of the Democratic Party's leadership as they attempt to salvage control of the Senate in 2014, and to rescue the left's agenda from the many failures of the Obama presidency, especially the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. Jan 25, 2014 10:11 PM PT

AIPAC Confronting Debbie Wasserman-Schultz--Finally

John Hudson of Foreign Policy pours scorn (Update: see below) on the American Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) for raising questions about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's opposition to new sanctions on Iran (to take effect if and when the interim nuclear deal fails). How is it possible, Hudson wonders, that a Jewish Democrat who prides herself on her pro-Israel record is now being targeted by AIPAC? The implication, reinforced by choice quotes from former AIPAC lobbyist is that AIPAC is becoming a more partisan, i.e. Republican, outfit.  Jan 24, 2014 8:09 AM PT

Krugman's Nobel Follies: Unions and Unemployment

It is not unheard of for Nobel Prize winners to do things that call their early achievements into question. It's easy to name examples among the Peace Prize laureates--who are but politicians, after all--but the intellectual winners do it, too. Chemist Linus Pauling won in 1954 for his research on chemical bonds, for instance, but later indulged medical quackery about the miraculous healing powers of Vitamin C. That, at least, was in a different scientific field: economist Paul Krugman enjoys the dubious distinction of quackery in his own area of expertise. Jan 24, 2014 7:47 AM PT

The Payoff of Pro-Israel Policies

Caroline Glick has a masterful analysis this week of Stephen Harper's visit to Israel. The Canadian Prime Minister thrilled his hosts (well, most of them) with a pro-Israel tour de force at the Knesset, then wowed them with his musical exertions. For Israelis, it was a welcome reminder that not everyone in the civilized world treats them the way U.S. President Barack Obama does: useful for a photo-op, but often for a punching bag. Jan 24, 2014 5:27 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Jerry Brown Would Crush Hillary Clinton

Brown has balanced the budget. That gives him something no other leading Democrat has: an achievement. That distinguishes him from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among others. She is busy lining up the Obama money machine for her inevitable 2016 run. But she has no accomplishments to her name--not one. And in Benghazi, she has a very, very serious failure. The administration calls it a "phony scandal," and Clinton herself famously asked a year ago: "What difference, at this point, does it make?" The answer is: the presidency. Jan 24, 2014 5:02 AM PT

Meet George Tsunis, Obama's Bungling Bundler-Turned-Ambassador

George Tsunis, a businessman and lawyer from Long Island, NY, donated $50,000 to John McCain's campaign for president in 2008. In 2012, he switched sides, and bundled nearly $1 million in donations for the Obama campaign. So, naturally, like other bundlers with no foreign policy experience, he was near the top of the list for a plum ambassadorial post. Unfortunately, the Senate still has retained the formality of confirmation hearings. Jan 23, 2014 10:53 AM PT

The Obama Administration's Delusional Iran Deal

After Iran's foreign minister declared to CNN yesterday that under the interim nuclear deal, "we did not agree to dismantle anything," an Obama administration official told CNN's Jake Tapper: "We expected the Iranians would need to spin this for domestic political purposes and are not surprised they are doing just that." Jan 23, 2014 10:02 AM PT

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