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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Overemphasis on Climate Change Has Made California's Water Crisis Worse

President Barack Obama offered the desperate farmers and farmworkers of the drought-stricken Central Valley a desultory relief package last week: $1 billion for a "climate resilience fund," plus "summer meals" and various other kinds of aid. For a president who boasts of his willingness to use executive action, it was a pathetic display of sophistry, full of mumbles about how water management is not a "zero-sum game"--though in this case, it is. Feb 16, 2014 6:44 AM PT

Obama Abandons Egypt and Israel

Other countries in the region, too, have lost faith in Obama--notably Saudi Arabia, which shares Israel's worries about Iran. But the loss of support in Egypt and Israel is telling. The Camp David Accord of 1978, which ended war between the two countries, was the centerpiece of American diplomatic power in the region. To the extent that peace still reigns on the Egypt-Israel border, it will be in spite of, not because of, President Barack Obama. Feb 16, 2014 5:52 AM PT

To Obama, Israeli Lives Are Worth Less

A friend pointed out an obvious contradiction in the Obama administration's policy towards terrorism. In a series of "goodwill" gestures aimed at enticing the Palestinians to keep negotiating, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have forced Israel to release long-term prisoners who include terrorists and murderers. Upon their return to Palestinian society, they are given a hero's welcome and generous government benefits. Indeed, the Palestinian Authority just allocated $46 million for payments to such prisoners in 2014. Feb 16, 2014 5:19 AM PT

Big Labor Loses Big in Volkswagen UAW vote in Tennessee

On Friday, Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, TN dealt a major blow to the United Auto Workers (UAW) and to Big Labor in general when they voted 712-626 to reject the union. The loss is only the latest setback for the union, which has seen right-to-work laws established in Michigan and has struggled to organize new plants. It may have won major White House-brokered concessions (at the expense of primary creditors) in the Detroit auto bailout in 2009, but the UAW is otherwise in decline, and the Volkswagen loss stings especially bitterly. Feb 16, 2014 5:01 AM PT

Blue State Blues: The Joys of Aural Sex

My two-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica overlooks a sort of courtyard/alleyway that is surrounded by several dozen other apartments. On still summer nights, there is a couple--no one knows quite who they are--who make love with their windows open. They are creatures of habit: the moans, slaps, exclamations, and admonishments resound at 2 a.m., give or take. Sometimes, the neighborhood owls even hoot in response. Feb 14, 2014 3:23 PM PT

Here's Where Obama Can Stick His $1 Billion

No, not there. Rather, a better use for the $1 billion that President Barack Obama pledged today to a "climate resilience fund" would be to invest in a desalination plant that could help alleviate some of California's periodic water shortages. An Israeli company is building one right now near San Diego that just happens to cost about $1 billion and will provide 50 million gallons of potable water when completed. That would certainly be of more direct use to California farmers than promises of relief for the projected results of "climate change." (Do those farmers elsewhere who grow more crops as a result of warmer temperatures have to pay a redistributive tax?) Feb 14, 2014 1:59 PM PT

Covered California is a Model--for Obamacare's Failure

As recently as December, Gov. Jerry Brown was touting Covered California's relative success. But a failure is still a failure, even if others have failed more egregiously. Covered California has indeed turned out to be a model for the policy as a whole--but not in the way the bureaucrats and activists intended. If this is the best Obamacare can do, even with a cooperative state government, then there is no way the policy can ever work. Feb 14, 2014 12:58 PM PT

Summers Blasts Weak Economic Recovery

Larry Summers, who once chaired President Barack Obama's National Economic Council, criticized the current economic recovery on Thursday evening, telling an audience at Harvard that while the Obama administration helped the country avoid a "depression" in 2009, the pace of economic growth was too slow. Feb 14, 2014 12:07 PM PT

President Obama Spending Valentine's Day Alone

Attention broken-hearted and lonely Americans: President Barack Obama feels your pain. He's happily married, of course, but in solidarity with the lovelorn--those victims of romantic inequality--he's spending Valentine's Day alone. Well, not entirely alone--he's set to enjoy a guys' weekend with Jordan's King Abdullah in Palm Springs--apparently without Queen Rania. Who knows what those boys will get up to, with Vegas nearby. Feb 14, 2014 7:46 AM PT

As Predicted, Obama Ties California Drought--Falsely--to Climate Change

As predicted, President Barack Obama is making climate change the central focus of his visit with farmers today in the drought-stricken Central Valley of California. Rather than address the central grievance farmers have with the federal government, which is that fish are being prioritized over farmers in water allocations, Obama is announcing a new $1 billion "climate resilience fund" that will not address the urgent needs of the region. Presumably he expects the farmers to be grateful wards of the state rather than working the land for themselves. Feb 14, 2014 6:47 AM PT

Obamacare Recruiting Illegals in California

In 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) apologized profusely to the White House for shouting, "You lie!" as President Barack Obama told Congress that Obamacare would not cover illegal immigrants. Now it would appear that the White House owes Wilson an apology, as Covered California--the flagship of state Obamacare exchanges--is trying to recruit illegal ("undocumented") immigrants to sign up for the program, regardless of their eligibility. Feb 14, 2014 6:37 AM PT

Golf, Not Drought, Brings Obama to California

President Barack Obama will arrive in Fresno, California today to meet local communities to discuss the severe drought that is one of the words in recorded history, and which has seen water allocations to farmers cut to zero. Analysis have puzzled over why the president would make the trip, since his party's environmental policies are blamed by farmers for prioritizing fish populations over farms. Fresno is also the heart of the Central Valley and therefore solid Republican territory, far from the liberal coastal cities where Obama does his fundraising. Feb 14, 2014 5:57 AM PT

Forget the 'New World Order'--Here Comes the 'New Equilibrium'

More than twenty years ago, President George H.W. Bush pledged a "new world order" as he sent U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf: a world "freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace." The idea was that American power, unchallenged as communism crumbled, could be the best guarantor of freedom and justice around the world, and bring about a new ear of peace and prosperity. Feb 13, 2014 11:31 AM PT

Why AIPAC is in Trouble--and Why It Matters

Richard Baehr has published a masterful analysis of the decline of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which recently had to back away from Iran sanctions for the first time in two decades. It did so to preserve the fa├žade of bipartisan support for Israel, even though Democrats are jumping ship under pressure from the Obama administration and the radical academics and leftist organizers from whence Obama comes. Feb 13, 2014 10:31 AM PT

Are Republicans Still Alive in California?

The remarkable victory by Kevin Faulconer in the special election for San Diego mayor on Tuesday--by a margin of nine points, far more than almost anyone had expected--raises questions about the state of the Republican Party in California. If the GOP can defeat a Democrat from the Latino community while being outspent by the unions and while facing an Obama-style get-out-the-vote operation, perhaps the party is not quite so dead? Feb 13, 2014 5:23 AM PT

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