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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Kerry to African Leaders: Do Some of You Ride Donkeys?

Secretary of State John Kerry opened his remarks to African Union leaders gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this weekend by asking whether some had traveled by donkey. "Thank you, Mr. President, for being here. And thank you, all of you, for treading up the hill to join me this morning. I saw a couple of donkeys out there. Did some of you come up on the donkeys? (Laughter.) But a lot of buses and cars, and I am very, very appreciative." May 4, 2014 5:03 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Illinois, You Put Me in a Happy State

"Illinois, you put me in a happy state." That was the tagline from Illinois tourism ads in the mid-1980s, which were near-ubiquitous in an era when John Hughes was filming Chicago hits like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and, of course, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. President Ronald Reagan's birthplace attracted visitors to rural Illinois, and the stark yet hopeful inner city attracted political romantics like one young Barack Hussein Obama. May 2, 2014 7:09 PM PT

How to Stop Benghazi from Happening Again: No Hillary

Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor attempted to deflect Bret Baier's questions on Fox News' Special Report Thursday by arguing that what was important about what happened in Benghazi "two years ago" [sic] was less important than what happens in the future. "What we should be worried about is making sure that never happens again," Vietor said, hoping to shake Baier loose. May 2, 2014 5:49 AM PT

Vietor: 'Guys Quoted in Newspapers' Were Source for Benghazi 'Video' Claim

There were many rich moments in former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor's interview Thursday on Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier about the Benghazi scandal. Certainly his exasperated protest--"Dude, this was like two years ago"--summarizes the callow nature of the Obama administration (one could almost hear the next Peggy Noonan column being written as the words left the youthful Vietor's mouth). May 2, 2014 5:28 AM PT

Study: California's 'Jungle' Primary Boosts Independents

California's new "jungle" primary system does not boost turnout, but does raise participation by independent voters, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reported Thursday. According to the PPIC's Eric McGhee, the new system, in which all candidates compete together and the top two advance regardless of party, boosted voting by independents in California in the 2012 election for downticket races--i.e. offices other than president. May 1, 2014 2:21 PM PT

Federal Prosecutors Investigating Another Illinois Governor

Federal prosecutors are probing yet another Illinois governor, incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn, as reports emerged Thursday that the Department of Justice had asked state officials about his Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Program, which has also been probed by state and local investigations. Quinn's predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, is in federal prison; Blagojevich's Republican predecessor, George Ryan, was recently released. May 1, 2014 12:15 PM PT

L.A. Times Endorses Miller to Replace Waxman, Throwing Race into Disarray

The Los Angeles Times editorial board announced its endorsement Thursday in the June 3 primary to succeed veteran Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman in California's 33rd congressional district: radio host Matt Miller. The Times endorsement adds a further twist to a race in which established Democrats are contending with a field of 18 candidates, including energetic campaigns by Republican Elan Carr and independent Marianne Williamson. May 1, 2014 11:58 AM PT

Why John Dickerson is Wrong About the New Benghazi Emails

"What was causing the protests in Cairo that the CIA mentions? The video." That's how Slate's John Dickerson pushes back against the idea that the new White House emails on (sorry, Jay Carney) Benghazi, obtained via a FOIA request by Judicial Watch, represent a "smoking gun" in the debate over the Benghazi attack/cover-up. May 1, 2014 11:27 AM PT

The Benghazi Dam Is About to Burst

In Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's celebrated book on the Watergate scandal, All the President's Men, the figure of Hugh Sloan, Jr. stands out. Sloan was a staffer for President Richard Nixon and an official on his re-election campaign. He was not involved in the Watergate burglary, but resigned when he found out about it, and while nursing his shattered ideals he eventually became a source for Woodward and Bernstein's investigations. May 1, 2014 10:46 AM PT

Mazel Tov to Jewish Leaders on Rejecting J Street, Obama's 'Blocking Back'

J Street's exclusion from the Conference means that the Jewish community will be spared the radical harangues of a group that has sought to defame its leaders and institutions, and that is undermining Jewish commitment not only to Israel but to freedom and openness in America. J Street has earned its defeat, and the leadership of the Jewish community, which has struggled in recent years to find its backbone, deserves a hearty "mazel tov." May 1, 2014 6:48 AM PT

California Legislature’s Latino Caucus: Republicans Need Not Apply

The California Latino Legislative Caucus is one of several ethnic caucuses in the California state legislature. However, according to investigative journalist Steven Greenhut, it is the only one that is closed to Republicans. Greenhut notes in the San Diego Union-Tribune that Republican Rocky Chàvez, who was elected in 2012 to the California State Assembly from northern San Diego County, has been excluded from the Latino Caucus. Apr 30, 2014 12:43 PM PT

Democrats Launch First Campaign Ads in Waxman's District

Several Democrats running to succeed veteran Rep. Henry Waxman (D) in California's 33rd congressional district have released their first television advertisements. Beyond the Democrats, other candidates are also ramping up for the June 3 primary. Apr 30, 2014 11:09 AM PT

Media: Dismal GDP Figure is 'Ancient History' Already

Shortly after the government released gross domestic product (GDP) data showing that the U.S. economy grew by only 0.1% in the first quarter of 2014, the host of Marketplace Morning Report, David Brancaccio, called the GDP report "ancient history" because it only covered the period through March. Apr 30, 2014 7:50 AM PT

UCLA Returns Clippers' Owner's $3 Million for Kidney Research

UCLA announced Tuesday that it would reject a $3 million donation by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and would return the portion of that donation that had already been delivered, local CBS news affiliate KNX reports. The announcement is the latest public repudiation of Sterling after his privately expressed racist comments were recorded and exposed, and comes as the NBA prepares to force Sterling to sell his team. Apr 30, 2014 6:00 AM PT

Emails Point to Ben Rhodes as Key to Benghazi Talking Points

A year ago, Ed Lasky of the American Thinker speculated that White House security official Ben Rhodes – a speechwriter with no prior national security experience or expertise – was at the heart of the Benghazi scandal, specifically the false talking points spouted on Sunday news shows by former UN Ambassador (now National Security Advisor) Susan Rice that the Sep. 11, 2012 attack was a protest against a YouTube video. Now, those speculations seem to have been confirmed by the release of a batch of emails obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Apr 29, 2014 10:51 AM PT


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