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.  He spent ten days in Iraq in November, 2006, mainly in Anbar Province. Email: mark.finkelstein@gmail.com
 

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
May 23, 2015, 9:56 AM EDT

Ana Marie Cox remains a committed liberal, her Christian coming out, as she described it, notwithstanding.  Even so, she had a raw truth-telling moment this morning that will not please Hillary fans.

On Steve Kornacki's MSNBC show, Cox declared that close Hillary associate and informal foreign policy adviser Sidney Blumenthal is "kind of a scumbag." A scandalized Kornacki quickly interjected "that's your characterization!" and a guest from the leftist Guardian dismissed the Hillary-Sidney connection as a campaign issue.

May 22, 2015, 7:19 PM EDT

On Al Sharpton's MSNBC show today, former DNC Chairman Ed Rendell dared congressional Republicans to recall Hillary Clinton to testify about Benghazi. Calling Clinton a "tough cookie," Rendell vowed that "Hillary will put them in short pants."

Paging Camille Paglia . . . Rendell surely thought he was paying Hillary a compliment.  But is this really the Hillary persona that Dems want to project: that of a woman who makes little boys out of grown men?

May 21, 2015, 8:29 PM EDT

Dem strategist Steve McMahon prefaced his remarks with the standard tongue-in-cheek disclaimer about not intending to hurt, by praising him, the prospects of someone from the other party. On this evening's With All Due Respect, McMahon then proceeded to gush over Marco Rubio, saying that listening to him recount his life story as the son of immigrants "melts my heart."  McMahon predicted that Rubio would be the Republican nominee.

So . . . does McMahon's praise mean anything? Is Rubio really the Republican the Dems fear, or is it a don't-throw-us-in-the-briar-patch pitch on McMahon's part?

May 21, 2015, 9:10 AM EDT

What would Donny Deutsch say if he did want to sound elitist?  Because for not wanting to sound elitist, Donny Deutsch came off an awful lot like the denizen of Manhattan and the Hamptons that he is.

On today's Morning Joe, reacting to comments from a focus group of Iowa Republicans who were less concerned about Jeb Bush's policy positions and more concerned about his last name, Deutsch declaimed "I don't mean to sound elitist but it's astounding how ignorant people are."

May 20, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT

Jeb Bush: genocidal Arab killer and torturer. That was the portrait of the prospective Republican presidential candidate that Joe Wilson, husband of former CIA employee Valerie Plame, has painted.

Appearing on Chris Hayes's MSNBC show this evening, Wilson claimed that the "conclusion you come to," looking at his foreign policy advisers, is that Jeb's plan is "to kill all Arabs we find on the streets," and if we can't kill them, "to torture them."

May 20, 2015, 10:41 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton must be worried if she's willing to trot out a bottom-of-the-barrel dead-ender like Joe Conason to defend her.

Conason slithered onto the Morning Joe set today and it didn't take him long--quoting Winston Churchill--to compare Joe Scarborough to Nazis. Even then, Conason couldn't tell the truth, claiming Churchill hadn't been referring to Nazis, when he clearly had.

May 19, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT

Did Joe Scarborough just suggest that the suits at his own network are craven cowards who put bucks over ethics?

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough predicted that if Matt Lauer had pulled a Stephanopoulos, NBC would hesitate to punish him [just as ABC hasn't disciplined Steph], because Lauer's morning Today show "is where they make the money."

May 18, 2015, 8:57 AM EDT

On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski criticized George Stephanopoulos for covering the story of the Clinton Foundation without disclosing that he had donated to it.  But Brzezinski's biggest blast was reserved for ABC, which had hired the hyper-partisan Clinton adviser in the first place.

Brzezinski hit the "lack of judgment of the people who are hiring him to think that he can just erase [his close Clinton ties] from his brain."

May 15, 2015, 8:53 PM EDT

It's easy for people--with the possible exception of Jeb Bush--to say that they would not have supported the invasion of Iraq knowing what we know now about WMD there.

But Chris Matthews took things a foolish step further on this evening's Hardball, actually claiming that "there was no intelligence they had a weapon. Never was."  Really?  So Hillary, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy et al. were collective fabricators when they issued dire warnings, based on the intelligence they had seen, about Saddam's WMD?

May 14, 2015, 7:57 AM EDT

Is Jesus a Bernie Sanders fan?  Could be, if you believe Howard Dean.  On today's Morning Joe, Dean claimed that "if you look at the red-letter version of the Bible, Jesus was probably to the left of the Democratic party."

Dean's declaration came in the context of a discussion of yesterday's forum on poverty in which President Obama and AEI President Arthur Brooks participated.  Question: is Dean confusing the establishment of faceless government bureaucracies that can entrap people in dependency with the kind of personal caring for the downtrodden that Christ commanded?

May 13, 2015, 8:38 AM EDT

If you love the smell of liberal infighting in the morning, today's Morning Joe was must-see TV. The MSM is reluctant to report it, but you might say that a trade war has broken out among liberal Dems, and it's getting personal. A few days ago, criticizing Elizabeth Warren for opposing his TPP trade bill, President Obama said that “the truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else.” Yesterday, Sen. Sherrod Brown, also a TPP opponent, said that Obama had thereby been "direspectful" to Warren, suggesting he had been sexist.

Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said that once Brown had a chance to look at his comments, he expected that Brown would "find a way to apologize."

May 12, 2015, 8:52 AM EDT

Hey Barack? Yes, Your Royal Majesty! Look, know what I said about coming to that thing at your place? Of course, oh Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Not going to make it--turns out I have to rearrange my stallion's sock drawer.

On today's Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell acknowledged the undeniable: that the last-minute decision by Saudi King Salman not to attend the White House summit, after previously having informed John Kerry that he would be there, was such an "in your face" snub, so embarrassing to Kerry and the Obama White House, that "I don't see any way that they can spin it."

May 11, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

What a shame: if only the economy had been better, the rioters would have had more name-brand stores to burn.

Seriously, this had to be one of the strangest statements to come out of the Baltimore riots. On this evening's Ed Show, Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant complained that because of economic "disenfranchisement," the rioters "could only find one anchor store in that neighborhood" to destroy.

May 8, 2015, 8:14 AM EDT

It was enough to make a blogger in mom's basement spit out his Cheetos in surprise.  On today's Morning Joe income redistributionist and global climate kvetcher Prof. Jeffrey Sachs praised the UK Conservatives for creating jobs via an austerity budget. In a second surprise, Sachs criticized fellow lefty traveler Paul Krugman.

Said Sachs of the Conservatives: "they governed well . . . they got the economy going again. They got it stabilized, they got the debt crisis Britain was facing under control and they created a lot of jobs and they got rewarded last night." And a bit later, the normally reserved Sachs permitted himself a petite smile when Joe Scarborough asked if Paul Krugman, who had criticized the Conservatives' austerity budget, thinks he "knows what is better for the British people than the British people?"

May 6, 2015, 8:24 AM EDT

Timer ready? Go!: foreign countries and rich people gave millions to the Clinton Foundation and/or paid Bill big bucks to give speeches. In return, Hillary's State Department pushed policies favorable to them.  And, stop!  I timed that at exactly eleven seconds.

On today's Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle made the absurd claim that the shady dealings described in Clinton Cash, officially out today, won't hurt Hillary much because they're too hard for Americans to understand.  "I challenge you to explain in one or two minutes to, you know, anyone, what is going on here with the Clintons and all this foundation money."

May 5, 2015, 6:42 PM EDT

For all the good their Ivy League degrees did Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—when you consider the smoking ruin that is their foreign policy record—you'd think John Heilemann would have the good sense not to make an Ancient Eight sheepskin the sine qua non for a presidential candidate.

But with his MSM elitism on full display,, on today's With All Due Respect Heilemann had the chutzpah to suggest that Mike Huckabee doesn't clear the Commander-in-Chief bar because he lacks a degree from Harvard's Kennedy School or Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School.  Huck has simply picked up some foreign policy talking points from Fox News, huffed Heilemann.

May 5, 2015, 3:16 PM EDT

Hillary's campaign didn't outright hurl Bill under the bus. Even so, the former prez might be feeling a bit too close for comfort to the grimy side of a Greyhound.

Asked by Andrea Mitchell today to comment on footage of poor ol' Bill saying he would continue to give paid speeches because he's "gotta pay our bills," senior Hillary campaign official Amanda Renteria said "that's President Clinton. We are focused on her." Whatever happened to "two for the price of one?"

May 4, 2015, 8:11 AM EDT

Few things undermine the foundations of a just society more than people who have been granted the power to prosecute acting not on the basis of the facts and the law, but out of political motives.

To which Mika Brzezinski says . . . meh.  On today's Morning Joe, there was a discussion of the possibility that Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby overcharged the police officers in the Freddie Gray case. And a clip was played of Mosby repeating the politically-correct phrase of the moment: that the rioters were not "thugs."  After which Brzezinski declared: "I watched her speaking and I was thinking, gosh, it seems political. Not sure I care. I'm really glad her voice is at the table. I'm really glad that she's there."

April 30, 2015, 9:13 AM EDT

How did Howard Dean go from vivid voice of the New Left to political hack defending Hillary Clinton at all costs? Joe Scarborough called Dean on it today, telling Howard he had become the "New England version of James Carville."

Dean, on today's Morning Joe, dismissed the latest Washington Post story suggesting possible financial improprieties at the Clinton Foundation as "a breathless piece of hot air" and, incredibly, Dean said he'd advise Hillary not to address the rising tide of questions. 

April 29, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

Yesterday, we reported on how just after playing a clip of the pastor who delivered the eulogy at the Freddie Gray funeral leading the congregation in an impassioned chant of "no justice, no peace!"Joe Scarborough claimed that the riots that ensured were "something that no one inside that funeral could have ever have wanted." The chant wasn't the pastor's only incitement.  He also told the congregation that "somebody is going to have to pay" for Gray's death. 

So when that pastor, Jamal Bryant, appeared on today's Morning Joe, don't you think Scarborough would have challenged him over his incendiary remarks?  Think again. There was not a word of Bryant's incitement.  To the contrary, Scarborough gushed: "we were all moved by that extraordinary eulogy you gave a couple days ago," and a bit later former RNC Chairman Michael Steele thanked him for "your voice in this time in the city."