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
March 7, 2015, 11:23 AM EST

David Corn of mucho-left Mother Jones was the object of considerable ire for going after Bill O'Reilly in what Rush and others saw as attempted tit-for-tat over Brian Williams' inventions.  But credit Corn when it's due: he is now speaking out about how Hillary's camp is in a "defensive crouch" over her email in which Hillary's people have told him and other members of the press things that "are not true."

Corn, who has also written on the matter, made his allegations on Steve Kornacki's MSNBC show today. Corn claimed "I was told by a Clinton advocate, speaking for her, that everything was preserved by the State Department. It turns out it wasn't."  He added that by telling the press things that "aren't true," the Clinton camp turns a "level 4 fire" into a 13.

March 6, 2015, 7:10 PM EST

Who said the Hillary email story is "a lot ado about nothing": a. Mika Brzezinski; b. Lawrence O'Donnell; or c. Michael Steele?

You'd be forgiven for choosing a. or b., but it turns out that Mika said that the way Hillary handled the matter "wasn't honest" and O'Donnell said that Hillary's email system was set up "to defy" the Freedom of Information Act.  The correct answer is indeed c., Michael Steele. The former chairman of the Republican National Committee said it on today's Ed Show.

March 6, 2015, 8:29 AM EST

"This wasn't honest." That's how Mika Brzezinski described Hillary's handling of her email on today's Morning Joe. Mika also admitted that if it were Dick Cheney instead of Hillary, "I'd go crazy."

Mika's surprising admission came after Lawrence O'Donnell also made a candid comment, saying "this e-mail system was set up obviously to defy the Freedom of Information Act."

March 5, 2015, 7:49 AM EST

What's wrong with this picture: Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist being tougher on Hillary than ostensible Republican Nicolle Wallace?

On today's Morning Joe, former W aide Wallace said that Hillary would wind up releasing all her emails and they would just turn out to be "wedding stuff."  Mika had blasted Hillary for setting up her own servers, and Geist politely pointed out that since Hillary didn't have an official account, her emails are bound to contain much more than "wedding stuff." 

March 4, 2015, 9:06 AM EST

It was almost a funny moment . . . until you realized that members of the press were openly laughing at the fecklessness of the ostensible leader of the free world.

On today's Morning Joe, the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, his voice occasionally cracking with emotion, repeatedly insisted that President Obama would use military force if necessary to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  Andrea Mitchell eventually had enough, saying in a devastating aside "ask Bashar al-Assad," an allusion of course to how President Obama ran away from his red line in Syria.  Joe Scarborough laughingly joined in, repeating "ask Assad."   Even Mika Brzezinski couldn't suppress a smile [see screencap below.]

March 3, 2015, 6:47 PM EST

On the Bloomberg TV show he co-hosts, John Heilemann—asked today to quantify on a scale of "1-to-Godzilla" how "dumb" politically it was of Hillary Clinton to use personal email—answered "Godzilla with Mothra riding on his back dumb."  Heilemann also revealed having reached out to former Hillary aides and that "to a person" they responded that the situation is a political "disaster."

Mark Halperin claimed that, substantively, Hillary might have "a leg to stand on" but that politically her decision to use personal email was "moronic."

March 3, 2015, 12:53 PM EST

In today's speech, Benjamin Netanyahu took a not-so-subtle shot at John Kerry: will the MSM notice? The Israeli PM otherwise went out of his way to be bi-partisan,  finding ways to praise President Obama and even Harry Reid.  

But Kerry came in for a stinging swipe when Netanyahu said "last year, the same [Iranian foreign minister] Zarif, who charms Western diplomats, laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood [at the Beirut Marine barracks bombing] than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I'd like to see someone ask him a question about that." Wonder just which Western diplomat Bibi had in mind, John?  And Netanyahu threw down the gauntlet: do you dare raise the issue with Zarif next time you go for a stroll with him?

March 3, 2015, 8:19 AM EST

When Joe and Mika interviewed New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt on today's Morning Joe, Scarborough had to work to get Schmidt to say something that was in his own article: that while Colin Powell also used private email as Secretary of State, there were no rules prohibiting that at the time. Later, Joe and Mika later remarked that they were "taken aback" by the interview and that "something else was happening" during it.  Mika mentioned that there was a "massive onslaught" of Twitter "hatred" from Hillary supporters overnight.  She wondered whether Schmidt had been on the receiving end of that hatred, and if the "fear of retribution or something" had gotten into his head.

March 2, 2015, 9:28 PM EST

Say "1964," and those of us old enough might think of the appearance on Ed Sullivan's show of some little British group called the Beatles. But Chris Matthews recalls something else: the Republican party's decision to nominate Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater, and his ensuing wipeout by LBJ.

On his MSNBC show tonight, Matthews suggested that Republicans are in a similarly reckless mood, and might well nominate a true conservative, electoral consequences be damned.  And, oh yeah, Chris contended that the GOP would do so out of racist motives.

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?