Joel B. Pollak

Joel B. Pollak

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Javad Zarif laughs at you (Carlos Barria / AFP / Getty)

Iran Laughs at Obama: Wants Arms Sanctions Lifted, Too

As the list of Western concessions to the Iranian regime continues to grow, Iran is demanding the lifting of a worldwide arms embargo as a condition of any nuclear deal. Thus far, the U.S. is resisting, but Russia and China have already agreed in part.

Bay Bridge San Francisco (Frank Schulenburg / Flickr / CC / Cropped)

‘San Francisco: It’s the New Rome.’

“San Francisco: It’s the New Rome.” That’s the anonymous comment overheard by Politico’s Mike Allen–or one of his sources–at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the summer gathering of the nation’s intellectual elite (and the people with enough money to be seen with them). It is an acknowledgment of the city’s new power–and its decadence.

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf

1776-2015: Is Our Revolution Dead?

July 4th marks the climax of the American Revolution, remembered with fireworks, family, and fun. But this year, there are three other revolutions that overshadow our own. The first is the French Revolution. Unlike the Americans, who preserved their religious

George Takei No H8 (NoH8Campaign.com)

No H8: Clarence Thomas Is a ‘Clown in Blackface,’ Says Gay Activist Takei

Star Trek celebrity and gay marriage activist George Takei told a Phoenix news station Monday that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a “clown in blackface.” Takei was referring to Thomas’s recent dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 5-4 decision in which the Supreme Court found that there is a “fundamental” right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. “He is a clown in black face sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there,” Takei said.

Alan Gross (Brendan Smialowski / Getty)

Report: Obama Administration Failed to Debrief American Freed from Cuba

The Obama administration has yet to question American Alan Gross about his lengthy imprisonment in Cuba–six months after he returned home in a prisoner swap that set the stage for full normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations this week, the Daily Beast reports. Though Gross spent more than five years in a Cuban prison, and could potentially provide valuable intelligence on the regime, as well as information about political prisoners, the Obama administration showed no interest.

Obama and Ben Rhodes (Reuters)

Obama is Iran’s Best Negotiator

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes–who lacks any prior qualifications for the post–has explained to the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday that the administration believes that a bad Iran deal is worth doing because political reform inside the Iranian regime is more likely with the deal than without. Or, to use Rhodes’s own words: “We believe that the kiss of the nuke deal will turn the Iranian frog into a handsome prince.”

REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS

Posner’s Brainless Assault on Gay Marriage Dissenters

Judge Richard Posner writes at Slate.com that the dissent by Chief Justice John Roberts in the gay marriage case is “heartless.” It is a false charge, and part of the effort to shame opposing views–about which Justice Samuel Alito warned in his own dissent.

Barack Obama

No, Obama–The Charleston Murderer Was Not Being ‘Used by God’

President Barack Obama delivered a stirring eulogy Friday for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight others who were murdered in their church earlier this month by a white racist who hoped his act of terror would ignite a racial war. The first part of Obama’s remarks were a fitting and inspiring tribute to the victim, whom he knew personally. The second half was a regrettably political speech that exploited the pulpit for partisan ends–and claimed the murderer had been “used by God.”

Anthony Kennedy (Win McNamee / Getty)

Worse than Obamacare: Housing Case Lets Feds Target ‘Unconscious’ Racism

In the Obamacare case, the Court pretended to know what was really in the minds of legislators in spite of their explicit words (and evidence of their actual intent). In Texas Housing, the Court has ruled that the federal government can decide what is really in the minds of ordinary people, whether they intend to discriminate or not.

AP Photo

California Pensions Move Closer to Divesting from Coal

California’s pension funds moved one step closer to divesting from coal on Wednesday, with an Assembly committee approving SB 185 bill by a 5-1 vote. The bill, which has passed the state Senate, moves to the floor for a vote. It is likely to pass, and Gov.Jerry Brown is likely to sign it into law, though he has opposed measures to ban fracking for oil in the state.

Obama Petraeus (Mark Wilson / Getty)

Petraeus, Former Obama Advisers Reject Iran Deal

Several former advisers to President Barack Obama have rejected the likely terms of a nuclear deal with Iran, adding their names to an open letter that declares: “The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability.”

AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

Lawyers Grumble as Brown Appoints Another Young Obama Yalie to Bench

California lawyers are complaining after Gov. Jerry Brown announced the appointment of yet another young Yale Law School graduate with little more than Obama administration experience to the state’s appellate bench. “Baker is only 37 years old and has no judicial experience. So, he would be a typical Brown appointee to the appellate bench,” wrote legal columnist Roger M. Grace in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise in December 2014–an opinion he has since reiterated.

Nikki Haley Confederate flag (Joe Raedle / Getty)

Nikki Haley Leaves the Door Open for Democrats’ War on History

Haley left a door ajar that the left intends to prop wide open, from now until Election Day and beyond. Emboldened by South Carolina’s quick shift—on an issue that was tangential to the horrific atrocity in Charleston—the left is eager to mount a continued campaign against the Confederacy and its symbols.

Allen Sanders, Georgette Sanders

Confederate Flag: At Least Bury the Dead First

The dead are not yet buried in Charleston, yet the South Carolina legislature is to meet in special session Tuesday to debate the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds, reportedly at the behest of Gov. Nikki Haley. Whether the flag belongs there or not–and I would argue that it does not–the flag had nothing to do with the nine murders in a church last week. To tear it down in such haste is to dishonor the dead–and to accept a collective guilt that knows no end.

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