Mark Finkelstein has a B.S. from Cornell University, an Ed.M. and a J.D., magna cum laude, from SUNY Buffalo, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law. In 2011, Mark moved to Pecan Plantation, Texas from his long-time home in Ithaca, NY where he hosted "Right Angle," an award-winning local political talk show. Mark is an aviation buff and holds an instrument rating.  Mark spent ten days in Iraq in November, 2006, mainly in Anbar Province. Email: mark.finkelstein@gmail.com
 

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
February 27, 2015, 9:48 AM EST

On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski suffered a bad bout of PKSD: Post Kiss Stress Disorder. 

After a clip was rolled of John Boehner blowing kisses at a reporter, Mika got all verklempt, exclaiming "I know a lot of dirty old men who did that to me. I'm throwing up. That brought back bad memories."   Things got so bad for poor Mika that she eventually fled the set and had to be coaxed back.

February 26, 2015, 8:43 PM EST

In this week of the CPAC straw poll, the kiss of death for a Republican hopeful might be to say "endorsed by Chris Matthews."

But that dubious honor has been bestowed on Jeb Bush. On this evening's Hardball, Matthews declared that Jeb would be "the Hillary people's worst nightmare, if he runs, because if he wins the nomination the middle is in play." So Bush would be formidable because he's a moderate? Stop, Chris, you're killing Jeb!

February 25, 2015, 6:10 PM EST

When on his Bloomberg TV show today it came John Heilemann's turn to comment on a clip of Hillary from a speech to a women's conference in Silicon Valley yesterday, I sincerely thought he was going to criticize Clinton's canned delivery.

But to my amazement, Heilemann hailed Hillary as "much looser, much more spontaneous, much funnier" than she's been in the past.  Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations! Have a look at the video and judge Hillary's delivery for yourself.

February 25, 2015, 9:31 AM EST

Who said: "I've always believed the decline of the middle class could be tied to the decline of unions. And when you have 7%, 8% of the work force in unions, when you have CEO pay going up to record heights, you're going to have a hollowing out of the middle class." Was it a. Elizabeth Warren; b. Robert Reich; or c. Ed Schultz?

Correct answer: d. None of the above.  It was Joe Scarborough on today's Morning Joe. Scarborough prefaced his lament over the decline of unions by saying "It's been well-documented on Twitter: I'm a right-wing Republican stooge."  Translation: to my liberal critics out there, see: my heart's in the right [left] place when it comes to unions.

February 23, 2015, 9:07 PM EST

How unhinged has Howard Dean become? So bad that an MSNBC host had to gently walk him back off the ledge.

On Chris Hayes' MSNBC show tonight, Dean claimed that Scott Walker says Barack Obama was "born in Kenya."  It took Hayes two attempts to break through Dean's blather, but eventually he was able to politely point out: "I should note, you mention the Kenya thing, he has not been asked that."

February 23, 2015, 6:07 PM EST

In a classic example of phony political jujitsu, an MSNBC contributor has tried to turn the patriotism issue back against Republicans. Appearing on today's Ed Show, Steve Clemons attacked the "patriotism" of GOP congressional leaders, accusing them of "undermining the security of the nation."  

This because Republicans have attached amendments to the DHS funding bill denying funds for President Obama's executive amnesty.  Of course neither Clemons nor Schultz revealed that in a potential DHS "shutdown," all essential personnel, including those at TSA, Customs and Border, Secret Service, FEMA and Coast Guard, would continue to work.  Only non-essential personnel, mainly office workers, would be furloughed. 

February 23, 2015, 9:50 AM EST

MSNBC might like to replace "Lean Forward" with a new slogan: "Dissent Is Unpatriotic."

On today's Morning Joe, discussing the Rudy flap, Mika Brzezinski said: "I question the patriotism of someone who questions the president's patriotism." Joe Scarborough retorted that for years on MSNBC, Keith Olbermann got away with saying much worse about W without criticism from Mika or others in the MSM.

February 21, 2015, 9:47 AM EST

From a shining city on a hill and Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall, to terrible deeds in the name of Christ and terrorists' legitimate grievances.

The chasm between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama when it comes to their views of America and the world could hardly be wider. But on today's Up With Steve Kornacki, when the host asked the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart whether President Obama talks and thinks about America differently from Reagan [and Clinton and Carter], Capehart emphatically replied "No.  Rudy Giuliani is lying."

February 20, 2015, 7:55 AM EST

Something striking on today's Morning Joe. On the one hand, there was complete consensus that—as a matter of politics—Rudy Giuliani made a huge mistake in claiming that President Obama doesn't love America.  Panelists called his comments "stupid," "crazy," "tone deaf," even "racist."

Joe Scarborough did suggest that some Republican make this his Sister Souljah moment by criticizing Giuliani and saying that of course President Obama loves America.

February 19, 2015, 9:18 AM EST

New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica ought to stick to sports. When he wanders into politics he says silly stuff, as on today's Morning Joe.  

With HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell being interviewed about Obamacare, Lupica unctuously wondered out loud: "how did something that was this noble an idea become something over time that the other party uses against this president constantly? And is there a way, over the last two years of his presidency, for him to throw some sort of Hail Mary pass and make this look like the triumph he thought it was going to be?"

February 18, 2015, 11:58 AM EST

Honoring a long tradition of liberal women circling the wagons around Dem men accused of impropriety, Mika Brzezinski has come to the defense of Uncle Joe Biden.

On today's Morning JoeMika declared that Biden was not being "creepy" when for 20 seconds he put his hands on Stephanie Carter during her husband Ash's swearing in as Defense Secretary. For good measure, Mika claimed Biden "probably" said something sweet. Has Brzezinski spoken with Mrs. Carter, or is she displaying her skills for a second career as Real Psychic Mika?

February 18, 2015, 9:23 AM EST

Latest dispatch from President Obama's Department of Terrible Deeds in the Name of Christ . . . Morning Joe invited the State Department spox Marie Harf on today to give her a chance to clarify what she said to Chris Matthews about the US being unable to "kill our way" out of the ISIS problem and the need to focus on the "root causes" of terrorism.

After brushing off the suggestion by General Michael Hayden that she'd like a "mulligan" on those remarks, Harf attempted to distract from the focus on Islamic terrorism. Discussing this week's White House summit on "extremism," Harf cited the Lord's Resistance Army led by Ugandan Joseph Kony. Huffed Harf: "I don't remember people talking about that as much anymore, but that's a Christian militant group."

February 18, 2015, 7:13 AM EST

There are still 10 months to go in 2015, but Mike Barnicle is a strong frontrunner for Clumsiest Comment of the Year.

In a Morning Joe segment today on ISIS outrages, and shortly after mentioning the atrocity in which ISIS burned dozens of people to death in Iraq, Barnicle said that the complexity of dealing with ISIS makes "you want to set your hair on fire."

February 17, 2015, 7:23 AM EST

Mike Barnicle: proud member of the Barack Obama "terrible deeds in the name of Christ" school of moral blindness . . . 

Joe Scarborough opened today's Morning Joe with a protracted and impassioned plea for America—and in particular President Obama—to call out radical Islam by name. Mika Brzezinski was dubious, citing unspecified "difficult times" in the past when presidents used the wrong language. But taking Mika's misgivings a giant step further, Mike Barnicle flatly declared that we can't call radical Islam by name because "we're the Crusaders."

February 16, 2015, 9:13 PM EST

If once is an MSNBC aberration, is twice is a trend? Earlier today we reported on Ed Schultz getting surprisingly angry over the Obama administration's weakness in confronting ISIS, calling the situation a "religious war."

Just two hours later, Chris Matthews sounded a similar alarm, saying "if I were ISIS I wouldn't be afraid . . . the American people are getting humiliated . . . it sounds like we can't stop it." Have we reached a watershed moment among normally dutiful MSM supporters of President Obama?

February 16, 2015, 5:48 PM EST

Holy schnikes: was that really Ed Schultz, or has the soul of Norman Schwarzkopf suddenly assumed control of the MSNBC host's body?

On his show this afternoon, Schultz—discussing the latest ISIS outrages—stunningly declared that we are in a "religious war" in which we haven't been "strong enough," and repeatedly raised the possibility that ground troops might be necessary to defeat ISIS.

February 16, 2015, 8:01 AM EST

Joe Scarborough says he doesn't want to be "torn to shreds online" for analogizing the threat of radical Christianity to that of radical Islam.  Simple solution: stop analogizing the threat of radical Christianity to that of radical Islam.

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough twice suggested such parallels, analogizing radical Islamists to "ultrafundamentalist Christians who believe every single word of the Bible has to be interpreted in the exact ways which could also lead to some violence." A bit later, Scarborough circled back, saying "it doesn't matter what faith you're in," that a literal reading of scripture attracts the outcasts of society, for better or "for much worse."

February 12, 2015, 7:15 AM EST

What a snob!  On today's Morning Joe, Howard Dean, a product of fancy prep schools and Yale, suggested that Scott Walker was unfit to be president because his lack of a college degree rendered him "unknowledgeable."

Dean's disdain for the un-diplomaed came during a discussion of Walker having declined, during his recent trip to the UK, to state whether he believes in evolution.  Joe Scarborough was incredulous at Dean's diss, pointing out that people such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg never finished college.  To which list might be added super-successful and knowledgeable people from Rush Limbaugh to Steve Jobs.

February 11, 2015, 8:21 PM EST

Imagine a Fox News host making an unflattering remark about some aspect of Hillary Clinton's appearance. Now imagine the MSM going into 24/7 outrage mode.

But on tonight's Hardball, Chris Matthews casually referred to Chris Christie as "the fat guy from New Jersey." And in walking back the crack, Matthews actually compounded his mistake.  Rather than acknowledging that it's simply wrong to insult someone for his obesity, Matthews instead observed that he shouldn't call Christie a fat guy, because "he's losing weight." So fat cracks are fine if the target is actually fat?

February 11, 2015, 8:21 AM EST

Joe Scarborough is shocked by the outpouring of "sheer hatred, snarkiness and snideness" directed at Brian Williams. 

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough drew a contrast between himself, who as an opinion person has to expect much criticism, and Williams, who he claimed reported the news in a "straight" way.  But as Newsbusters and our parent MRC has carefully documented, Williams has been anything but a "straight" reporter of the news. Like so many of his MSM brethren, Williams had a distinctly liberal slant.