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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Remember When OUR President Ignored THEIR Letters?

In 2006, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush, which was promptly ignored. The context was mounting international pressure on the Iranian regime, especially the UN Security Council, which was nearly unanimous in demanding that Iran stop all nuclear enrichment entirely. To the east and west, the Iranian regime saw tyrannies toppled by U.S.-led forces, and feared it might be next. Nov 7, 2014 4:26 PM PT

With 'Secret Letter' to Khamenei, Obama 'Goes Rogue' on Iran

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal revealed that President Barack Obama had sent a "secret letter" to Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in late October. The letter supposedly focused on proposals to cooperate in fighting the Islamic State terror army. Yet the Journal could not confirm its contents firsthand, or whether the letter had also included proposals regarding the nuclear talks now dragging out for months beyond the original deadline. Nov 7, 2014 5:54 AM PT

Surprise: Sixth Circuit Upholds State Bans on Gay Marriage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has upheld marriage bans in several states under its jurisdiction, breaking with the momentum of most other appeals courts and sending the issue on a sure course to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court declined to hear a case testing the constitutionality of traditional marriage laws last month, partly (in the view of many observers) because the circuits had not yet split openly on the issue. Nov 6, 2014 2:37 PM PT

McConnell Should Defund the White House if Obama Tries Amnesty

There were two messages from Republicans on the morning after their sweeping victory in the 2014 midterm elections. One was that voters had elected Republicans to stop President Barack Obama's agenda. The other was that voters had elected Republicans to depose Harry Reid and break the gridlock in Congress. Both messages are correct, and reconciling them will be the toughest task facing new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Nov 6, 2014 6:13 AM PT

Kashkari Breaks 40%, Outperforms Whitman

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari may have lost decisively to Governor Jerry Brown, but he won more than 40% of the statewide vote, an important threshold that may establish a foundation for his future political ambitions. Moreover, at 41.3% of the vote thus far, Kashkari outperformed fellow Republican Meg Whitman in 2010, who won only 40.9% of the vote and spent many millions more in pursuit of the prize. Nov 5, 2014 7:59 AM PT

Did 'Chickensh*t' Comment Cost Democrats Seats?

The Republican wave election of 2014 was the result of voter dissatisfaction on a variety of fronts. As in 2006, when voters elected Democrats on the strength of frustration with the Iraq War, foreign policy was a major part of the sixth-year rebuke to President Barack Obama. Tension in the U.S.-Israel relationship--crystallized in the "chickensh*t" controversy the week before the election--may have cost Democrats at least one U.S. House seat. Nov 5, 2014 7:59 AM PT

The Polls Were Skewed, All Right--in Favor of Democrats

As the 2014 midterm election wound to a close, left-wing pundits repeated the error of their conservative rivals in 2012, claiming that the polls forecasting doom were skewed. It turns out that they were right--but in entirely the wrong direction. As fivethirtyeight's numbers guru Nate Silver noted after midnight Wednesday, the polls were skewed, on average, six points in favor of Democrats in the key Senate races where Republicans romped. Nov 5, 2014 6:15 AM PT

Santa Monica Airport Loses Big

Measure D, which would have defended the Santa Monica Airport by forcing any land use change by the local city council to go to the voters first in a referendum, lost big on Tuesday, going down to defeat roughly 58% to 42%. A competing ballot question, Measure LC, won by a slightly larger margin, giving the council a freer hand in turning the airport into a park or another use--pending litigation or resistance from the federal government. Nov 5, 2014 5:31 AM PT

Republicans Ose, Tacherra Lead Rout in Drought-Stricken Central Valley

It was a long night for California Republicans, who failed to win any statewide offices. However, the GOP did well in the drought-stricken Central Valley, with Doug Ose defeating freshman incumbent Rep. Ami Bera in the 7th congressional district; Johnny Tacherra upsetting incumbent Democrat Jim Costa in the 16th, and State Sen. Andy Vidak defending the seat he won earlier this year in a special election in a Democratic district. Nov 5, 2014 5:02 AM PT

Gay Republican Has Narrow Lead in California

With 100% of precincts reporting, former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio appears to have unseated incumbent Democrat Scott Peters in California's 52nd congressional district, becoming the first openly gay Republican to win a seat in Congress. However, DeMaio's lead is less than 600 votes, and the close race may ultimately be decided by absentee and provisional ballots. Nov 5, 2014 4:44 AM PT

Suddenly, a Jerry Brown Presidential Run Looks Promising

The defeat was total--from the Senate to the governorships to the symbolic figures like Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke. The only bright spot was the election of Jerry Brown to an unprecedented--and, given new term limits, never-to-be-repeated--fourth term as governor of California. In fact, though he denies any interest in running for president, Jerry Brown is likely now the Democrats' most viable candidate--more so than Hillary Clinton. Nov 5, 2014 12:12 AM PT

No Fluke: Sandra Loses State Senate Race--by 22 Points

LOS ANGELES, California -- Sandra Fluke, the feminist icon who rose to national prominence after being called a "slut" by conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, and after urging that Obamacare require religious institutions to cover abortion and birth control, has failed in her effort to win a seat in the California State Senate. Nov 4, 2014 9:09 PM PT

Local Ballot Measures to Watch

While apathy has set in across the Golden State this Election Day, at least in statewide contests, several local ballot initiatives have excited voters in several California communities in particular. Here are ones to watch: Nov 4, 2014 6:14 AM PT


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