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 12, 2014, 8:51 AM EST

Kudos to Mika Brzezinski for admitting the truth: if Jonathan Gruber were a Republican, the MSM "would be exploding."  Instead, noted Mika on today's Morning Joethe MSM has been silent on the Gruber story, with only conservative sites [ed.: notably including Newsbusters] covering it. 

Mika contrasted the current quietness on the MSM-Gruber front with the media "firestorm" that erupted when David Stockman made his infamous allegations about Reagonomics.

November 11, 2014, 8:01 PM EST

Note to Hillary: hire Chris Witherspoon of theGrio as your presidential campaign spokesman--please! He could help set up a 50-state sweep . . . for the Republican candidate.

Appearing on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show this evening, Witherspoon defended Hillary against an RNC email criticizing her for expensive private-jet travel billed to the campaigns of candidates for whom she made appearances.  Witherspoon generated this gem: "they're the Clintons. They're American royalty. I don't want to see them flying on domestic Delta flights in first class. I mean, they were flying on Air Force One for eight years. How do you go from that to not staying on private jets and kind of having like that luxurious travel experience?"

November 11, 2014, 10:37 AM EST

Such an "independent," that Angus King.  Nany Pelosi herself couldn't have pulled off a more partisan hack job of defending ObamaCare and attacking those who dare question it. Things got ugly on today's Fox & Friends. The show ran the clip [that NB's P.J. Gladnick uncovered and that few in the MSM have aired] of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber admitting that the bill's drafters had deliberately deceived the CBO as to the costs of the program, and relied on the "stupidity" of voters to push it through. King claimed he had never heard of Gruber, jabbed his finger while instructing the Fox & Friends hosts "don't lecture me," and accused them of being "cruel" for raising questions about ObamaCare.

November 11, 2014, 8:02 AM EST

Hey, at least Google didn't "honor" Veterans Day with a homepage featuring Jane Fonda on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. So yes, let's take some satisfaction from the fact that Google did depict actual members of the US military on its homepage this morning. That said, Google couldn't resist inflicting its PC-politics onto the homepage, with wildly unrepresentative demographics....

November 10, 2014, 8:14 PM EST

How far left is frequent Ed Show guest Mika Papantonio?  The class-action lawyer has criticized AG nominee Loretta Lynch for being too business-friendly.  

On Schultz's show today, Papantonio was asked to comment on the possibility that Ted Cruz would block Lynch's confirmation should President Obama issue executive amnesty.  According to the lefty lawyer, once Cruz and other Republicans "get the memo" from Wall Street on how Lynch supposedly lets white-collar crime flourish, they will change their tune.

November 8, 2014, 10:45 AM EST

Barney Frank lived up to his last name, and might live to regret it in Dem circles. Appearing on this morning's Up with Steve Kornacki, Frank admitted that the key Obamacare clause that the Supreme Court just agreed to consider was a "mistake." The clause on its face limits Obamacare subsidies to people obtaining coverage through state exchanges.  Only 14 states set up exchanges, yet the Obama admin has been granting subsidies to millions of people who got their policies through federal marketplace instead.  

If SCOTUS enforces the literal language of the law, it could well deal a death blow to Obamacare.  Will Cain of The Blaze was quick to highlight Barney's major admission, much to the displeasure of the surly former congressman from Massachusetts.  

November 7, 2014, 10:01 AM EST

The Republican devil would make him do it! On MSNBC's Daily Rundown today, Kristen Welker repeatedly blocked GOP Senator Ron Johnson's attempts to talk about President Obama's threat to issue an executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

When she finally deigned to discuss the issue, Welker suggested that Republicans pass immigration legislation so that Obama doesn't "have" to issue an executive order.  

November 7, 2014, 8:11 AM EST

Rush Limbaugh likes to say that when the liberal media says "talk radio," they mean him.  Rush's point was perfectly illustrated on today's Morning Joe.  John Heilemann first spoke of "talk radio  . . . howling" at Boehner and McConnell not to capitulate to President Obama.  Just a moment later, Heilemann made explicitly clear whom he had in mind: "you got to listen to Rush Limbaugh for just one day right now."

Then it was Joe Scarborough's turn to fulminate: "I keep hearing Rush Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh." The message that Heilemann and Scarborough had for Republicans was clear: ignore Rush and do deals with President Obama.  Specifically on immigration, Scarborough suggested that Republicans not "capitulate" but "work with the president and meet in the middle." 

November 6, 2014, 8:24 PM EST

A shame that Barney Frank retired from Congress.  We could really use him as the face of the Dem party.  

On this evening's Hardball, Barney, AKA Mr. Congeniality, let it be known that he thought of Tea Party members as "dumb animals."  

November 6, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

If Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina isn't already on 2016 GOP VP shortlists, perhaps he should be.  His appearance on today's Morning Joe could hardly have been a more impressive audition.

When Scott expressed his concern for kids growing up in poverty, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts equated such concern with supporting a laundry list of liberal agenda items, implictly faulting Scott for his opposition to them. Scott responded by taking Roberts to school in an utterly undefensive manner. He reminded Roberts that 40 years of Dem congressional rule and a bigger-than-ever government, actually led to a significant increase in black poverty.  Individual freedom, economic opportunity and education--not more government programs--are the keys to progress, explained Scott. 

November 5, 2014, 9:39 AM EST

Mike Barnicle could be the early leader in the race for the lamest excuse for a Dem loss.  On today's Morning JoeBarnicle claimed that the death of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino "disrupted" the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign, and that but for it, Martha Coakley might have "pulled it out."

Really?  Menino might not have been the most silver-tongued speaker, but the five-time Beantown mayor was a popular figure in the Bay State.  It's not hard to imagine that far from hurting Coakley's campaign, Menino's passing might have prompted some sympathy votes for her, a fellow Dem.

November 3, 2014, 9:26 AM EST

During a Morning Joe appearance late last month, Chuck Todd, as we reported, described the congressional race on Staten Island as a "fight between mob families." Not a great idea for a guy who not long before saw his comment that Alison Lundergan Grimes had "disqualified herself" made into a Mitch McConnell ad.

Back on the show this morning, Todd offered an unqualified apology for his "mob families" hit, calling it "bad, wrong" and  a "cheap slur."  But that didn't stop Joe Scarborough from trying to turn it into a joke and make things about himself.

November 3, 2014, 5:45 AM EST

C'mon man! That's no way for a plucky VP like you to talk just two days before the elections!  As a loyal member of the DNC email list, last night I received a message from Joe Biden that sounded decidedly down in the mouth; frankly fatalistic.

Here's how Good Ol' Joe opened [emphasis added]: "No matter what happens on Tuesday, I'm proud of you, Mark."  "No matter what happens?" Not exactly a bold prediction of victory! Particularly when it was followed by this: "You've helped to keep us in this campaign." Just kept us in it?  Don't you remember when Hillary threw her hat in the ring for 2008?  She boldly declared that she was "in to win!"  Now that's confidence!

October 31, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT

Comedy gold! As the co-founder of the Daily Show, Lizz Winstead might be a funny lady. But what she came up with today was surely an unintentional laugh line. Appearing on Joy Reid's MSNBC show this afternoon, Winstead blamed Wendy Davis' impending thrashing in her race for Governor of Texas on . . . "redistricting."  

Lizz, last time we looked, there is no districting—"re" or otherwise—when it comes to statewide races. The entire state is one big district that gets to vote for Governor. Oh, and for good measure, Lizz laid the rest of the blame on "the media." Right.  In a state where the major newspaper in three of the four largest cities have endorsed Davis.

October 31, 2014, 7:24 AM EDT

Did the editor of Politico's Daily Digest notice that the arrangement of the two top stories this morning played directly into the Dem playbook?  We sure did.

The first headline is "Democratic donors prepare for disappointment," and the sub-headline reads "The plan is to shift focus to 2016, when Democrats face a much more hospitable Senate map."  And sure enough, Politico's very next story obliges Dem desires.   The headline: "Why a GOP Senate could be short-lived," and the sub-headline reads "A half-dozen blue-state Republicans could be in trouble during the 2016 elections."

October 30, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT

Could this be the most cynical statement of the campaign season?  The woman whose recent wedding President Obama attended is okay with stoking the racial fears of black Americans—if that's what it takes to drive them to the polls and secure Dem victories. Alex Wagner devoted a segment of her MSNBC show today to the naked appeals to the racial fears of black Americans that Democrats are making in campaign ads.  Wagner discussed Dem ads that seek to stoke black fear toward Republicans by invoking Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

You might think Wagner would have condemned these ugly tactics, explicitly aimed at driving Americans apart based on their race.  Think again. To the contrary, Wagner concluded the segment by saying that it shouldn't have to be the kind of threats contained in these ads that get people to vote, "but if it does, so much stronger the party is for it."

October 30, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

You really have to watch the clip of President Obama strutting his self-righteous anger at states that are imposing Ebola quarantines.  I, Barack thunders that such quarantines reflect a lack of leadership, and "that's not who I am."  Thank you, sir, for letting us know what a strong leader you are.  

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough scalded President Obama's self-righteous hypocrisy.  Mockingly quoting the President, Scarborough said "'This is America. And we do things differently'—unless it's in Barack Obama's own government, the military." Where of course a quarantine is being imposed on soldiers returning from Ebola hot zones. In the unkindest cut, Scarborough cast Obama's hypocrisy as "a Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker moment."  Ouch.

October 28, 2014, 8:12 AM EDT

If on national TV you pass along from a "friend" an extremely damning charge about someone's morality, do you have an obligation to identify that "friend" or provide some sort of substantiation for the charge?  Nicolle Wallace apparently doesn't think so.

On today's Morning Joe, speaking of Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, Wallace blithely passed along the charge from an unnamed "friend" from Tallahassee that "these are two guys who are the least tethered to any sort of moral compass that have ever run against each other."  

October 25, 2014, 7:15 AM EDT

Let she who is without geography sin cast the first globe!  On her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow mercilessly mocked Darrell Issa for confusing Guinea with Guyana. The Republican congressman made his mistake during a discussion of the country in which the latest Ebola outbreak began.  Issa said it was "Guyana," a South American country, whereas in fact it was Guinea, a West African one.

Fair enough.  Issa should have gotten his countries straight.  But of all the hosts in the MSNBC lineup, Rachel Maddow should have been the last to have the chutzpah to highlight Issa's blooper.  For you see, just last month, Maddow made a big geography blooper of her own.  During a discussion of President Obama's then-impending trip to Estonia--a Baltic country--Maddow went on—repeatedly and at length—about the last time a president had visited . . . the Balkans.

October 24, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT

"Well, it is Friday night."  That was Al Sharpton's sheepish way of excusing the not-suitable-for-network-TV line that a guest had just uttered on this evening's Politics Nation.  Australian satirist Josh Zepps' zinger came during a discussion of a video ad in which young girls drop repeated f-bombs, supposedly in furtherance of feminism.

The ad was produced by a clothing company trying to cash in with t-shirts bearing PC messages against sexism and racism.  Zinged Zepps: "I'm offended by the shamelessness of the cheap ploy of the people that got them to do it  . . . There's something about this company that rubs me the wrong way. They sell t-shirts for men that say 'This is What a Feminist Looks Like.'" Read the racy rest of Zepps' comment after the jump.