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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Macklemore's anti-Jewish Rap: Same Hate

The worst thing about Macklemore's antisemitic performance in Seattle last Friday is not that he dressed up as a hook-nosed, black-bearded Jewish caricature (in a non-ironic fashion). Nor is it that he performed his song "Thrift Shop," driving home the stereotype. Nor is it that Macklemore pulled his stunt despite being fêted by Hollywood as a symbol of tolerance for gays, winning awards and accolades for his 2013 anthem "Same Love." May 19, 2014 2:47 PM PT

Monica Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton--and Me

I was surprised but pleased when people began calling to tell me that, in her much discussed Vanity Fair piece, Monica Lewinsky referred to one of my books, which was first published in 2002. Lewinsky writes that the “culture of humiliation” to which she was subjected is one that “Phyllis Chesler recognized in her book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman: that women themselves are not immune to certain kinds of misogyny. We see it today in how the ‘mean girls’ at school lurk on the modern playground of the Web (or around a pundit’s roundtable on TV or at a French restaurant), ever eager to pile on.” May 19, 2014 5:55 AM PT

Full Employment in Silicon Valley

Unemployment in the San Jose metro area fell dramatically last month, by nearly 1%, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports. The drop was driven largely by hiring in government and health care, and brings the area's unemployment rate down to 5.4%--"close to what the Congressional Budget Office considers full employment," writes the Business Journal's Eric van Susteren. May 18, 2014 9:19 AM PT

Former Mayor Wishes San Fran Would Be Destroyed 'More Often'

Willie Brown, the charismatic former mayor of San Francisco, has penned a column for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he expressed his fervent wish that the city would be destroyed. "This weekend moviegoing America will watch Godzilla stomp the daylights out of San Francisco," Brown wrote. "I wish it would happen more often." May 18, 2014 6:04 AM PT

Sandra Fluke Loses Key Endorsement in CA State Senate Race

State Senate candidate and free-birth-control activist Sandra Fluke lost a key endorsement this week, as the Santa Monica Democratic Club endorsed local school board president and Harvard graduate Ben Allen instead as its candidate for the 26th district in the June 3 primary. Local party endorsements are often the key to winning state and local elections, because many voters rely on party mailings when deciding whom to support. May 16, 2014 5:49 AM PT

New NYT Editor Was Ousted from LA Times in 2006

Dean Baquet, the new executive editor of the New York Times following the ouster of Jill Abramson, was himself ousted as editor of the Los Angeles Times in 2006--on Election Day. Baquet was reportedly removed because of his strong--and public--stance against cuts to newsroom staff as the paper struggled to stay afloat. May 15, 2014 8:01 AM PT

It Begins: California Agrees on 'Compromise' to Change Proposition 13

On Tuesday, legislators, business groups and tax reformers reached a compromise to change part of California's Proposition 13, the legendary restriction on property taxes passed by referendum in 1978. At the time, Prop 13 heralded the beginning of an economic turnaround for California, as well as the beginning of the nationwide "Reagan Revolution." Democrats, however, have increasingly seen it as an obstacle to their spending goals. May 14, 2014 6:00 AM PT

Media's Knives Out for Donnelly

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly was in second place in the latest poll, with a net favorable rating. California's newspapers, however, seem determined to change that. The Los Angeles Times has focused on comments Donnelly made about illegal immigration several years ago, while the San Francisco Chronicle has seized on Donnelly's defense of his vote not to ban state sales of Confederate symbols. May 13, 2014 2:30 PM PT

State Bar: No Comment on Lawyer who Gave Electrical Shock to Witness

The California State Bar is not commenting on whether it would discipline a California attorney who gave an electric shock to a witness during testimony in a Utah state court. The attorney, Don Howarth, gave an expert witness a trick pen with a AAA battery that shocked him. The point was to show, contrary to the expert's testimony, that the same current could give a shock to cows grazing on land above underground power cables. May 13, 2014 5:48 AM PT

Toyota is Leaving, but Sriracha Hot Sauce Will Stay in California

Toyota may be leaving for Texas, but Sriracha Hot Sauce is staying put. That is the latest news from the troubled condiment manufacturer, whose plight has become a cause célèbre for locals irritated by the state's onerous business regulations, but which in the end could not afford the distance from the peppers needed to make its signature product. The company may, however, expand into other states, according to NPR. May 12, 2014 5:45 AM PT

Pants on Fire: Politifact in Texas-Sized Blunder Defending Wendy Davis

Politifact Texas hit Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott May 6 with its worst rating--"pants on fire"--for claiming that Democrat rival Wendy Davis raised money for a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. That member was Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who hosted Davis at her annual "Ultimate Women's Power Lunch" fundraiser on May 5. The fact is that Schakowsky was indeed a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, as Breitbart News readers can confirm in the documents below. May 12, 2014 4:46 AM PT

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