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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VIDEO: Ferguson Protestor Has Phone Stolen--While Live-Streaming Riot

Bassem Masri, a pro-Palestinian activist who is live-streaming the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, had his smartphone stolen as he was live-streaming the action (at 2:34 in the video below). The thief's escape was broadcast to some 90,000 viewers around the world as he retreated, breathless, to a park. The video was captured and reposted to YouTube. Nov 24, 2014 10:51 PM PT

Quiet Riot: California Protests Ferguson, (Mostly) Peacefully

As Ferguson, Missouri exploded in rioting following the announcement that a grand jury had elected not to indict former police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown, protests erupted throughout California. Though some of the demonstrations were illegal, and a few were tense and violent, the overwhelming character of protests across the Golden State was angry but restrained as of 10 p.m. Monday. Nov 24, 2014 10:02 PM PT

Mike Honda Aims at Rand Paul--and Misses

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) issued a statement on Monday blasting Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for comparing President Barack Obama's executive amnesty to the internment of Japanese-Americans by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II. The Bay Area "Political Blotter" scored Honda's response a win for the 17th district congressman: "Rep. Mike Honda schools Sen. Rand Paul," it said. Nov 24, 2014 2:16 PM PT

If Hagel is Being Fired for 'Ebola,' Why Does CDC Head Have a Job?

The New York Times reports that one of the reasons the administration is supposedly offering for firing Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense is the Pentagon's slow response to the Ebola crisis. There can be no clearer sign that Hagel is being fired for reasons unrelated to his (obvious) incompetence. After all, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), still has a job after his glaring Ebola failures. Nov 24, 2014 8:15 AM PT

Hagel Firing Will Make Things Worse

I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but firing Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense is probably the wrong thing for President Barack Obama to do. Hagel should never have been appointed in the first place, much less confirmed. (That he was given the nod is to the eternal shame of Sen. Chuck Schumer and other so-called pro-Israel Democrats.) However, his dismissal can only add to a sense that the administration is in disarray. Nov 24, 2014 7:27 AM PT

Hagel Firing: Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

The New York Times reports that President Barack Obama is about to dismiss Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The reason given? That the White House recognized that "the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ." In other words: Hagel was brought on to downgrade the military radically, but now the military turns out to be necessary, after all. Nov 24, 2014 6:34 AM PT

Obama: Hostage-Taker on Immigration

The term "hostage-taker" has been thrown around quite a bit lately, most often at Republicans in Congress, whom President Barack Obama accused of holding the country to ransom in last year's shutdown fight over Obamacare. The latest and most brazen act of hostage-taking, however, is the President's attempt to argue that if Congress does thinks his executive action on immigration violates the Constitution, it can simply "pass a bill." Nov 24, 2014 6:17 AM PT

Iran Talks Extended to June 2015; The Least-bad Option

The nuclear talks between Iran and the international community have likely failed to reach a deal by the Nov. 24 deadline, and will reconvene next month, according to Reuters and other sources. The extension will likely be negotiated without offering Iran any new sanctions relief as a condition for its continued participation in talks with the P+5 nations (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany). Nov 24, 2014 4:29 AM PT

Ackerman: Obama's Executive Amnesty Is Like the Emancipation Proclamation

Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi compared President Barack Obama's declaration of executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens to President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Yale constitutional scholar Bruce Ackerman does the same. Just as Lincoln freed the slaves but left many questions open, Ackerman argues, Obama's amnesty will "initiate" further debate. Nov 23, 2014 7:44 AM PT

Obama's Executive Amnesty: We Are All Californians Now

While President Barack Obama's executive amnesty is unpopular nationwide, and only enjoys 47% nationally among Latino voters, Californians surveyed in August were broadly supportive of the measure. That marks a remarkable turnaround since Proposition 187, which sought to exclude illegal immigrants from most public services, passed twenty years ago--and may be a sign of political shifts to come across the rest of the country. Nov 23, 2014 7:06 AM PT

Chesler's 'The New Antisemitism': A Timely Warning, Renewed

In 2003, the liberal feminist Phyllis Chesler published The New Antisemitism. It was partly a reaction to the events of 9/11, partly a protest against the left’s anti-Israel posture posture amidst the terror of the second intifada. Chesler is re-releasing The New Antisemitism a decade later, as a third intifada looms, and as the hatred of Jews that motivates radical critics of Israel no longer feels the same need to hide behind the “anti-Zionist” label. Nov 23, 2014 6:12 AM PT

Clinton Allies Think Support for Obama's Amnesty Was 'Smart Move'

In a lengthy piece at The Hill this weekend, Amie Parnes takes a look at "What Hillary allies fear the most." Such analyses are always to be taken with a grain of salt, since the default assumption must be that the mainstream media are generally interested in seeing a Hillary Clinton candidacy succeed. Still, one of the more interesting tidbits is that the Clinton camp apparently believes she was right to embrace Obama's executive amnesty. Nov 23, 2014 6:03 AM PT

The Left Doth Protest Too Much: The Benghazi Scandal Remains

The left and the media greeted Friday's release of the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi with glee. "#Failghazi," the Huffington Post proclaimed. And yet, as Shakespeare wrote, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." For though the report contradicted some speculative claims, the core of the scandal remains. And both President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a tough case to answer. Nov 22, 2014 8:12 PM PT

Blue State Blues: My Immigrant Father's Warning—'When Illegality Becomes the Law'

I am a legal immigrant. I did not choose to come to the United States—I was carried here, by my parents, who arrived with one suitcase and nothing else. They were not fleeing political oppression, religious persecution, or economic collapse. In fact, as white South Africans in the 1970s, they were born into a life of exclusive privilege and prosperity. My father had grown up poor but made his way to medical school. A life of wealth awaited. Nov 21, 2014 8:02 PM PT

Obama Calls Lindsey Graham's 'Impeachment' Bluff on Gitmo

On June 4, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that President Barack Obama could face "impeachment" if he continued to release terror detainees from the military prison facility at Guantánamo Bay without Congress's explicit approval. On Thursday, however--the same day that the president announced his unilateral executive amnesty--Obama released five more terror detainees from Guantánamo, including four Al Qaeda fighters. Nov 21, 2014 4:04 PM PT

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