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
November 14, 2013, 9:27 PM EST

You really have to watch the video to perceive Chris Hayes' pathos.  The poor guy really needs a hug.  He needs to be reassured that—yes—it will all work out in the end for Obamacare.

On his MSNBC show this evening, Hayes asked—begged—guest Dr. Kavita Patel, a former Obama healthcare policy advisor, to assure him that in six months or a year, Obamacare would be working.  Patel reached across the airwaves to pat poor Chris' hand—but with a proviso that surely sent a shiver up Chris' spine.  View the video afer the jump.

November 14, 2013, 11:36 AM EST

A President can deal with being disliked, even despised, by his opponents.  But when he becomes a laughingstock among his own supposed supporters . . .

On today's Morning Joe, Dem Sen. Joe Manchin openly mocked President Obama's failure to communicate with Congress.  Asked by Joe Scarborough whether the President is disconnected from the Senate and House, Manchin sardonically said "everybody has a different style." Queried as how often he talks to the prez by phone, Manchin sarcastically replied "I'm sure he's very busy."  The panel had a good laugh at Pres. Obama's expense, until a mortified Mika Brzezinski couldn't take it anymore and demanded "Stop it. Enough!"  View the video after the jump.

November 14, 2013, 6:47 AM EST

At NewsBusters, we often document Politico's liberal tilt. For example, a couple of years ago I wrote an item highlighting the fact that all six stories in that day's Politico's "Daily Digest" were Dem-friendly.

So it is a mark of just how deep the Obamacare disaster is for Dems that four of the five items in today's "Daily Digest" focus on Obamacare's catastrophic debut and its political implications.  See the stories after the jump.

November 13, 2013, 9:13 AM EST

If President Obama has lost Donny Deutsch, has he lost the Hamptons?  But seriously, the adman has generally been an an enthusiastic supporter of the President.  So when he gives a very pessimistic prediction as to the ability of Obamacare to rebound from its . . .  debacular debut, it's worth noting.

On today's Morning Joe, Deutsch described Obamacare as so "tarnished" and "damaged" that he doubted that it could ever fully recover, even if President Obama took Joe Scarborough's advice and attempted a total reboot.  View the video after the jump.

November 9, 2013, 9:45 AM EST

For the MSM, any excuse is good to push for ever-bigger government  . . .

Take today's Good Morning AmericaABC used a run-of-the-mill bank robbery story to blame a national increase in violent crime on "a lack of federal funding."  View the video after the jump.

November 8, 2013, 10:56 AM EST

President Obama's narcissistic hits just keep on coming. Yesterday, we noted that in his interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, President Obama cast himself as the victim of the ObamaCare mess, complaining that "I've been burned" by the bad website.  

In a new clip from the interview, aired during today's Daily Rundown, President Obama bragged "I can guarantee you that I have been more deeply involved in our intelligence operations on a whole set of areas where there real threats against us than just about any President." As with his victim whine, the prez caught himself and amended his remark.  But once again, his true feelings were clear.  View the video after the jump.

November 7, 2013, 7:15 PM EST

Yeah, he caught and corrected himself. Too late.  When the chips were down, President Obama didn't step up and truly take responsibility for the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. Instead of acting like a leader and the President of the United States, Barack Obama's first impulse was to cast himself as the victim.

In an interview with NBC Political Director Chuck Todd aired on this evening's NBC Nightly News, President Obama said that "I've been burned by a website." View the video after the jump.

November 6, 2013, 7:02 PM EST

If on Election Day 2014, 24% of Americans make Obamacare their #1 issue, Dems would be staring at a massive defeat.

But keen political analyst Ed Schultz, doing an endzone dance over Terry McAuliffe's victory, absolutely exulted today over the fact that "only" 24% of Virginians put Obamacare at the top of their issue list.  Ken Cuccinelli closed a double-digit deficit down to three fingernail-biting points last night thanks to Obamacare.  Extrapolate that kind of effect across the country and you have a tidal wave sweeping Dems out of office.  But good old Ed gloated over the "only" 24%. View the video after the jump.

November 6, 2013, 1:16 PM EST

Political anaylst Charlie Cook bills himself as "non-partisan and independent." But on today's Morning Joe Cook  couldn't curb his enthusiasm for Chris Christie.  Cook said of Christie that there is "testosterone coming out of every more pore in his body" and that Christie's attitude "inoculates him against being called a RINO, pantywaist liberal Republican."

For good measure, Cook said he would "pay money" to see Christie reach down the throat and pull the lungs out of Tea Party member daring to call Christie a liberal!  View the video after the jump.

November 5, 2013, 9:29 PM EST

To a liberal, what's worse than smoking crack?  Opposing higher taxes!  Admission: I'm libertarian when it comes to drug laws. I believe the War on Drugs has been a big bust, excuse the pun, just like Prohibition was.  

That said, I still found hilarious Chris Hayes' statement on his MSNBC show tonight, commenting on the admission by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he had smoked crack cocaine, that Ford had done worse things.  Among the litany of Ford's failures that were worse than getting on the pipe? Opposing higher taxes and privatizing garbage collection! View the video after the jump.

November 4, 2013, 10:26 AM EST

Too smart to be President. Is that really Barack Obama's problem? Mika Brzezinski thinks so.

On today's Morning Joe, as Mike Barnicle and John Heilemann kicked around the notion, as others have before, that President Obama doesn't much like politics and the people in it, Brzezinski piped up with a different explanation for his aloofness: he's "too smart for the job," she suggested.  View the video after the jump.

November 3, 2013, 6:28 AM EST

MISSPEAK 1:  to speak (as a word) incorrectly 2:  to express oneself imperfectly or incorrectly [e.g., claims now that he misspoke himself]

In an editorial of today, the New York Times couldn't bring itself to say the simple truth: that President Obama lied when he repeatedly assured Americans that, under Obamacare, if they liked their healthcare insurance policies they would be able to keep them. The most the Times was able to admit was that [emphasis added throughout] "Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that."  Misspoke.  Yes, of course.  As you see from the Merriam Webster definition above, the word does not imply any intent to deceive.  Indeed, as in the example Merriam Webster offers, to misspeak implies a lack of intent.  The editorial gets worse, as you'll see after the jump.

November 2, 2013, 11:46 AM EDT

Of all the lame attempts to explain away President Obama's oft-repeated Obamacare lie that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," Melissa Harris-Perry might have come up with the most hilarious: President Obama figured people wouldn't like it!

Yes, that's what MHP actually asserted on her MSNBC show this morning, claiming the Obama administration figured people wouldn't like their plans, and would clamor for the ones offered under Obamacare.  Of course the argument still leaves Obama as having lied. Even if if a majority of people with private plans didn't like them, that would still leave millions being forced out of plans they did like. So Obama would still have lied, albeit on a smaller scale.  View the video after the jump.

November 1, 2013, 9:42 AM EDT

What an odious piece of garbage.  Today's Politico, in an article by Todd Purdum, accuses Republicans of "calculated sabotage" of Obamacare, comparing their opposition to the "pattern of 'massive resistance' not seen since the Southern states’ defiance of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954."

Purdum himself seems to recognize just how loony he comes off, writing "[t]hat may sound like a left-wing conspiracy theory . . . But there is a strong factual basis for such a charge."  Sabotage, really?  People who understand democracy would call it entirely legitimate opposition to a philosophy and a program that millions of Americans believe undermine what this country should be about. More after the jump.

November 1, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

Nicolle Wallace has yet again demonstrated why she's a Morning Joe kind of Republican.  

Two weeks ago, even after the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, Nicolle Wallace wasn't sure she opposed the big-government monstrosity.  Today, when Joe Scarborough alluded to Clinton's infamous "what difference does it make?" line about Benghazi, there was Wallace riding to Hillary's defense: "I don't think she meant it that way."  View the video after the jump.

October 31, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

When a network's ad—putatively for its own website—extensively features a candidate for office in a high-profile race, at what point does the ad constitute a contribution in kind to that politician's campaign?

The question arises in light of MSNBC's ad for its new website that aired on today's Morning Joe.  In the space of 30 seconds, the ad twice featured shots of Wendy Davis, the Dem candidate for Texas governor whose filibuster of a Texas law imposing restrictions on abortion made her an overnight liberal darling.  For good measure, the ad also displayed jubiliant crowd reaction to Davis's filibuster.   View the video after the jump.

October 30, 2013, 9:31 AM EDT

The Hindenburg? The Titanic? Hurricane Sandy on steroids? Any of those might have been a better analogy for the monumental mess that is Obamacare than the lame one Jon Meacham proposed on today's Morning Joe.

The presidential historian somehow sought to analogize the Obamacare fiasco to . . . the classification of ketchup as a vegetable. Huh?  View the video after the jump.

October 23, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Don't take it from conservatives.  The co-founder of a "very, very major social-media site" has said the criticism of the Obamacare website is fair because the "technology sucks."

So reported Willie Geist on today's Morning Joe, telling panelists that the person he interviewed was co-founder of a site so major that they would all know it and might have it open on their computers as he spoke. View the video after the jump.

 

October 22, 2013, 9:18 AM EDT

For all his accomplishments, Henry Louis Gates might be doomed to being best remembered as the man whose arrest led to the "Beer Summit." But the Harvard prof had something surprising to say on today's Morning Joe: Gates questioned the need for affirmative action for affluent African-Americans, saying instead such programs should seek to help poor people, regardless of race.

Gates made the personal political, citing the case of his own two daughters, whom Gates described as having a "privileged" life."Do they really need to benefit from affirmative action?", asked Gates rhetorically.  View the video after the jump.

October 21, 2013, 8:25 AM EDT

So, were they lying, or merely clueless?  

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough disclosed that in off-the-record briefings prior to the rollout of the Obamacare website, Obama administration officials were "extraordinarily confident" of success.  They displayed a site that Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said looked "great," "very user friendly" and "very simple." View the video after the jump.