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
January 31, 2014, 8:09 AM EST

You really have to listen to Mika Brzezinski's voice rising as if in a question as she pronounces the very last word in an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal column—and watch the expression on her face—to appreciate how utterly baffled, befuddled and bewildered she seems by the simple notion that increasing the cost of hiring motivates employers to automate their operations.

The column, "The Employee of the Month Has a Battery," noted that restaurant chains like Chili's are introducing tabletop ordering devices and eliminating server positions. Author Michael Saltsman makes the incontrovertible argument that "policy makers are encouraging the switch to technology by increasing the cost of hiring."  But just listen to Mika pronounce that last word, and watch the ensuing expression on her face, to see how the notion leaves her at a complete loss.  View the video after the jump.

January 30, 2014, 8:05 AM EST

Although to date there has been no evidence directly tying him to either matter, Chris Christie has been accused of playing politics with the GW bridge closure and the granting of hurricane-relief funds to Hoboken.  So naturally it's fair game to analogize Christie to the head of cinema's most infamous, murderous crime syndicate.

Fair game, if you're MSNBC that is.  Today's Morning Joe segment on Christie treated viewers to a 'Govfather' logo, based on the famous puppet-master logo from "The Godfather."  View the video and images of the original and MSNBC logos after the jump.

January 28, 2014, 7:52 PM EST

Did Al Sharpton just stumble into some unfortunate phrasing, or did he take an intentionally vulgar shot at Rand Paul?  

On his MSNBC show tonight, discussing the fact that Paul recently raised the most salacious scandal of Bill Clinton's presidency, Sharpton said "Rand Paul is really going to try to do the Monica Lewinsky on the Democrats as a way of countering the war on women that they're doing with legislation and all kinds of things."  I'm inclined to believe the sly Sharpton knew exactly what he was doing.  View the video after the jump.

January 24, 2014, 8:27 AM EST

Roe v. Wade was horribly decided, as even some prominent supporters of abortion rights will agree.  But for now, it remains the law of the land.  And it establishes a constitutional right to abortion.  Amazingly, Thomas Roberts appears unaware of that.  

On today's Morning Joe, commenting on Mike Huckabee's speech of yesterday on how Dems wrongly accuse Republicans of a "war on women,"  Roberts twice said "if old white men could get pregnant, abortion would be a constitutional right."  View the video after the jump.

January 21, 2014, 8:49 AM EST

Is Joe Scarborough taking tips from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo? Cuomo recently declared that conservatives who are pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and opposed to gay marriage "have no place in the state of New York."

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough took things a step further, telling rich people who shield money abroad to reduce their taxes "you're not welcome in the United States of America."  Thundered the self-righteous Scarborough: "Follow your damn money.  Leave! Go!"  Wonder if Scarborough's banishment order applies to corporations as well as individuals?  If so, say sayanora to Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard . . . not to mention MSNBC's previous owner, GE, from whom Scarborough took paychecks for years.  All are among the 15 US corporations with the most money held offshore.  View the video after the jump.

January 20, 2014, 9:24 AM EST

Where is Willie Geist when we need him?  Thomas Roberts—who has replaced Brian Schachtman as Way Too Early host—is seemingly also taking over much of Geist's turf as Morning Joe sidekick.  

And whereas Geist was, at least in the MSNBC context, a voice of affable equanimity, Roberts is an unabashed liberal advocate.  Witness today's Morning Joe. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski questioned the character of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Joe and Mika wondered how, after assertedly writing in her personal diary that Chris Christie's corrupt nature "literally brings tears to my eyes," Zimmer could then take to Twitter to paradoxically proclaim that she was "very glad" that Christie was governor and that he has "done a great job for NJ & Hoboken."  Rising to the defense of the Dem mayor, Roberts accused Joe and Mika of "eviscerating" Zimmer, whom Roberts described as a "whistle-blower." View the video after the jump.

January 19, 2014, 12:24 PM EST

Call it Melissa Harris-Perry's "corpse-man" moment . . .

In a segment on the role of the US military during her MSNBC show this morning, Harris-Perry, quoting the Marine Corps motto, pronounced it Semper "Fee."  Marines of course pronounce it "fye" [scroll over phrase at link to hear pronunciation.]  Harris-Perry surely meant no disrespect. But it is a mark of just how detached she and so much of the liberal media is from military culture that she could make such a mistake.  Video after the jump.

January 17, 2014, 9:11 AM EST

Whatever the question, politicians have a way of working their issue of the day into the answer.  Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) took that tendency to new heights today.

Asked on Morning Joe to explain the disproportionate amount of terrorism against the United States that emanates from the Islamic world, Ellison, the first Muslim Member of Congress, asserted that it is the struggle for democracy, not the Islamic faith, that motivates the terrorism.  In a giant leap, Ellison then compared people in Islamic countries "who don't want to yield power to the vast majority" . . . to the struggle in the United States over "income inequality." View the video after the jump.

January 16, 2014, 8:21 AM EST

In a disgusting display of just how far the liberal media will go to preserve Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects, Katty Kay has blamed Ambassador Chris Stevens for his own death, while letting Hillary off the hook.

On today's Morning Joe, the BBC's Kay called the newly-released Senate report on the Benghazi attack "sad" because it showed that Stevens was "fallible." Kay claimed that "he didn't ask for and even rejected some of the security he might have had." This flies in the face of the report's findings that "State, then under Hillary Clinton, refused requests to boost security despite warnings from the CIA and its own staff about the danger of militant attacks." View the video after the jump.

January 14, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

Gee, Ed, do you think that the world's worst rollout and the looming actuarial disaster could have anything to do with it?

On his MSNBC show today, Ed Schultz seemed shocked that Dems in DC he recently spoke with were reluctant to run on Obamacare. In a moment of comical candor, Schultz admitted: "if you're doing statistics, you're not going to win that battle." Translation: well, yeah, there is that thing about the numbers not adding up. But Ed still urged Dems to run on the "moral component."  Since when is bilking the young and healthy "moral"? View the video after the jump.

January 14, 2014, 9:03 AM EST

With a "personal friend" like Mika Brzezinski, Chris Christie doesn't need enemies.  Yesterday and again today, the Morning Joe co-host insisted that the media's focus needed to be exclusively on Christie and the bridge matter, and that any discussion of President Obama's involvement with the IRS, Benghazi and other scandals was a "distraction."

Today, relying on her personal relationship with Christie, Mika took things a giant step further, declaring "we know Chris Christie and we know he would have known."   Mika was in effect claiming that Christie lied when he said at his marathon press conference that he had only very recently learned that his aides had ordered the bridge closures.  View the video after the jump.

January 13, 2014, 8:34 AM EST

We got ourselves a good Republican scandal here, and we're sticking with it.  No distractions about President Obama and his culpability in the IRS and Benghazi matters. Capiche?

That was Mika Brezinski's message on Morning Joe today. When Mark Halperin mentioned that President Obama has never subjected himself to the kind of intense media grilling on Benghazi and the IRS that Chris Christie underwent on the bridge scandal during his 109-minute press conference, Mika laid down the law. Bringing up Benghazi and the IRS is "flailing for some sort of distraction.  It's Chris Christie.  It's New Jersey. Stick to that story," she ordered. The MSM at large will be only to happy to comply. View the video after the jump.

December 30, 2013, 9:46 AM EST

Let no one say that NBC/MSNBC are reluctant to criticize ObamaCare.  A leading NBC light boldly did so today . . . from the left, of course.  

Appearing on Morning Joe, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, declared that there should be "a single-payer system" of health care.  That is the left's preferred solution, but brings with it a host of problems, as the Heritage Foundation has detailed.  For good measure, Snyderman said that she "made" her young-adult children sign up for Obamacare as their "patriotic duty." View the video after the jump.

December 24, 2013, 5:53 PM EST

The Declaration of Independence? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Meh. That's so, like, 18th century.  No, Ed Schultz has come out with a new declaration of what he calls the Four Pillars of American Life: health care, jobs, education and equality.

Schultz promulgated his manifesto on the year-in-review episode of his MSNBC show today. View the video after the jump.

December 23, 2013, 7:48 AM EST

After Martin Bashir lost his MSNBC job for making a vile anatomical suggestion, you might think that others at the "Lean Forward" network would be circumspect about engaging in comparable crudeness.

But that didn't stop John Heilemann on today's Morning Joe. Whereas Bashir's remark focused on the beginning of the alimentary canal, Heilemann's went to its other extremity. Asked how he'd deal with Senator Rand Paul's theory that extending unemployment benefits does the unemployed a disservice, Heilmann said "I'd tell Rand Paul to stick that where it belongs." View the video after the jump.

December 21, 2013, 1:19 PM EST

Today's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, with Joy Reid guest-hosting, displayed a "Pope" poster of Pope Francis in the style of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of Barack Obama made famous in 2008.

The show featured a long segment analyzing the Pope's critique of capitalism.  What's the message of the poster and of MSNBC's decision to display it? That Pope Francis and Barack Obama share a critique of capitalism? That Barack Obama is himself a Pope-like figure? Something else?  View the video after the jump.

December 18, 2013, 6:30 PM EST

All those sanctimonious tears shed by Democrats over how the government shutdown hurt Americans? Turns out they were of the crocodile variety.

Ed Schultz gave away the game in opening his MSNBC show tonight. Avoiding another shutdown is "bad news" for Democrats, said Schultz.  View the video after the jump.

December 16, 2013, 10:06 AM EST

In her continuing campaign to promote Elizabeth Warren's presidential prospects, Mika Brzezinski has attempted to recruit an unlikely ally: Steve Rattner.

Rattner--President Obama's former "car czar"--is an investment manager and what passes for a moderate in the modern Dem party.  The notion that he would support leftist Elizabeth Warren in a Dem primary is far-fetched to say the least.  But Mika told Rattner he would "root" for Warren "because you will do that for me."  A compliant Ratter replied that he would "do anything" for Mika. View the video after the jump.

December 13, 2013, 10:08 AM EST

Joe Scarborough made a point of mentioning that until today, his MSNBC show hadn't discussed the Obama selfie at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.  Morning Joe's way too highbrow for that kind of stuff, don't you know, particularly when it might reflect badly on Barack Obama.

But when the crew finally got around to it today, opinion from Joe to Mika to Ed Rendell to Thomas Roberts was unanimous: there was nothing to criticize.  Mika made her point by seeking to snap a selfie with Scarborough, as Joe jokingly showed her the hand.  View the video after the jump.

December 11, 2013, 9:38 AM EST

Nicolle Wallace played the quintessential DC insider on today's Morning Joe, proclaiming herself a "groupie" of both conservative Senator Tom Coburn and liberal partisan David Axelrod, while also saying she was "inspired" by Paul Ryan's leadership in forging a budget compromise deal.

But the Sooner senator wasn't letting the inside-the-Beltway bonhomie blunt his criticism, saying the budget deal "sells out" what needs to be done, and gives up "core values." View the video after the jump.