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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Grandfather, Grandson Killed at KC Jewish Center: Neither Was Jewish

A grandfather and grandson were among the victims in a shooting at the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas, according to the Kansas City Star. The alleged shooter, a man in his 70s, opened fire at the center and at a nearby Jewish retirement home, shouting "Heil Hitler!" as he was arrested. Ironically, neither the grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, nor his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, was Jewish. Apr 13, 2014 6:36 PM PT

3 Dead in Shooting at Kansas Jewish Center: Gunman Yelled 'Heil Hitler'

Two people are dead and one is reportedly in critical condition, according to ABC News, after a shooting spree at a Jewish community center and retirement facility in Overland Park, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports that police arrested one male suspect at 2:45 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Hundreds of students were reportedly at the community center for local "KC SuperStar" auditions and for the rehearsal of To Kill a Mockingbird. Apr 13, 2014 1:32 PM PT

'Blood Moon' Eclipse on Holy Monday Sparks Prophecies of 'Rapture'

A rare "blood moon tetrad" will arrive with the start of a total lunar eclipse, beginning late on Monday evening--or, on the East Coast, early Tuesday morning. The eclipse, in which the full moon will be darkened by the earth's shadow, will coincide with the Jewish festival of Passover. In a bizarre, rare calendrical coincidence, the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in October will also feature a solar eclipse--as will both Passover and Sukkot next year as well. The series of four blood-red eclipses has sparked several conspiracy theories and amateur prophecies. Apr 13, 2014 12:06 PM PT

Feds, State Release Emergency Water Plan--but No Long-Term Solutions

The California state government announced last week that federal and state water management agencies had agreed on a new plan for managing the state's water needs over the next several months, in the midst of one of the most severe droughts ever experienced. However, the plan does not discuss proposals for long-term solutions to the crisis, including disputes over irrigation and the need for greater water storage facilities. Apr 13, 2014 6:41 AM PT

CA High-Speed Rail Lowers Revenue Projections

In a new business plan submitted to state legislators last week, the California High-Speed Rail Authority offered lower revenue projections than it had two years before, predicting that revenue will be "5 percent lower than originally projected by 2025 and 10 percent lower by 2040," according to a report by Sacramento's Apr 13, 2014 6:32 AM PT

Obama to Raise DNC Cash in Silicon Valley--Again--in May

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Obama will return to the Bay Area in early May for two fundraisers--one at the home of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer, the other at the home of 23andMe CEO Ann Wojcicki, who is separated from husband Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google. Meyer also hosted Obama for a fundraiser in 2010. Apr 13, 2014 6:28 AM PT

Poll: Another Republican Leads Statewide CA Race

A Field Poll released Saturday indicates that Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno, leads the race for State Controller, garnering 28% of the support of likely voters, 9% ahead of her closest rival. However, the combined total of the second- and third-place candidates, Board of Equalization member Betty Yee and Assembly Speaker John Perez--both Democrats--is 33%, suggesting that Swearengin may face long future odds. Apr 13, 2014 6:26 AM PT

Record-High 60% of Californians Say They Pay Too Much Tax

Ahead of the April 15 tax deadline, a record-high 60% of Californians say that they pay "much more" or "somewhat more" in taxes than they should, according to a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). However, as PPIC Mark Baldassare notes at Fox&Hounds, Californians still believe that the answer is to tax wealthy earners or corporations more--not to reform and broaden the current tax system. Apr 13, 2014 6:16 AM PT

Tesla Lobbies Against Rebate Cuts to Rich Customers

Tesla, the electric car manufacturer that discovered a new enthusiasm for the free market when the state of New Jersey tried to block direct sales to customers, is lobbying in Sacramento to protect the large taxpayer subsidies that have helped it boost sales in California. Apr 13, 2014 6:16 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Don't Ban Killer Whales--Ban Job-Killing Politicians

There are two problems here. One is a twisted leftist notion of nature. The other is the ideological rigidity of Democrats like Richard Bloom, whose shortsightedness and appetite for control are magnified by the knowledge that they face little Republican opposition. They fashion themselves as majordomos of the nanny state, rather than representatives of the public interest. Apr 11, 2014 11:03 AM PT

Eric Holder to Defend Soledad Cross

The federal Department of Justice took the surprising decision of siding with advocates of the Mount Soledad cross, arguing that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should hear the case en banc, in front of a full 11-judge panel. A three-judge panel declared the cross unconstitutional in 2011, since it was erected on federal land and amounts to an endorsement of religion. A district court judge ordered the cross removed in December 2013. Apr 11, 2014 7:51 AM PT

Poll: After Yee Arrest, Republican Favored to Win Secretary of State

A new Field Poll released Friday morning reveals that Republican Pete Peterson leads the field of primary candidates in the race for Secretary of State--the same office that State Sen. Leland Yee had sought prior to his arrest on corruption and gun-running charges last month. The Santa Monica-based Peterson enjoys the support of 30% of likely voters, ahead of Democrat State Sen. Alex Padilla, who is polling well behind at a mere 17%. Apr 11, 2014 7:06 AM PT

Garcetti Promises No Rate Hikes, Lower Business Taxes

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his first "State of the City" address Thursday evening, promising to bar any rate increases for water and power, and to begin phasing out the city's business (or gross receipts) tax. Apr 11, 2014 5:54 AM PT

Democrat Shriver Cancels 'Rolls-Royce' Campaign Event

Democrat Bobby Shriver--nephew of John F. Kennedy, brother to Maria Shriver, and (for now) still brother-in-law to Arnold Schwarzenegger--has canceled an "exclusive" campaign evening at a Rolls-Royce dealership in Beverly Hills, blaming a lower-level staffer for scheduling the event, according to the Los Angeles Times. Apr 11, 2014 5:41 AM PT

El Niño Likely, Could Drench California Next Winter

Drought-stricken California could face torrential rains next winter, according to federal meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center in Maryland, who have forecast a 2-in-3 chance of an El Niño event this year, the Contra Costa Times reports. El Niño occurs when the waters of the equatorial Pacific heat up, altering weather patterns throughout much of the region and beyond. Apr 11, 2014 5:23 AM PT


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