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 25, 2013, 8:30 AM EST

Joe Scarborough has suggested that President Obama's poor poll numbers made him "desperate," driving him to agree to a deal with Iran on its nuclear program that Scarborough criticized as "bad" and even "horrible."

Scarborough described recently speaking with someone who said that no president with approval ratings under 40% should be allowed to do a deal. Reminds me of doctors' warnings not to sign legal documents while under the effects of some medications.  Said Scarborough of unpopular presidents: "they get desperate, they really do."  View the video after the jump.

November 22, 2013, 9:39 AM EST

Sure, he was careful to couch it.  But the bottom line is that Zbigniew Brzezinski believes that Iran is willing to abandon its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser offered that opinion in response to questioning by former RNC Chairman Michael Steele on today's Morning Joe.  Brzezinski also claimed that the recent round of negotiations have been "serious, substantive" and that the Iranians have been "accommodating."  View the video after the jump.

November 21, 2013, 9:11 AM EST

If only "Republican" Nicolle Wallace would be as critical of Democrats as she is of members of her own putative party . . . On today's Morning Joe, Wallace—adviser to Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign—decided that in order to praise Republican governors, she had to pound Republicans in Congress.

Wallace took her shot at congressional Republicans in the course of discussing Chris Christie ascension as head of the Republican Governors Association.  Wallace praised Republican governors as "our stars . . . the people that can speak English." In contrast, according to Nicolle, "you go to Washington and somehow Republicans are speaking another language." View the video after the jump.

November 20, 2013, 5:52 PM EST

Ed Schultz knows nothing about misdemeanor sentencing guidelines . . . Playing the race card over the arrest and conviction of Republican congressman Trey Radel for cocaine possession, Ed Schultz has claimed there is "no doubt" that an African-American who committed the same crime "would be facing jail time."

Really? Radel's crime was a misdemeanor, and he was a first-time offender. It would be highly unusual for anyone pleading guilty under such circumstances to be sentenced to jail time. DC jails could not possibly hold all the low-level misdemeanor drug offenders. View the video after the jump.

November 20, 2013, 9:05 AM EST

Was someone holding Mika Brzezinski's shoe collection hostage?  Because something obviously forced the Morning Joe host, against her will, to devote two lengthy segments today, totalling more than 2.5 minutes, to the story of scandal-ridden Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

With Joe Scarborough away, Mika was in charge. After airing the second long segment she complained "I can't believe he's still in the news.  It doesn't make sense."  Hmm.  Kind of reminds me of another liberal complaining about what was done on his own watch.  View the video after the jump.

November 19, 2013, 2:47 PM EST

When conservatives appear on MSM shows, they regularly get raked over the coals. Frustratingly, the conservative guests rarely call their interviewers out for their obvious lefty bias.

So it was refreshing to see Republican Congressman Chaffetz of Utah refuse to let Luke Russert's liberal slant slide. In the guise of a question, Russert, subbing for Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show today, confronted Chaffetz with a contentious bit of editorializing against the "Ted Cruz, Mike Lee rabbit hole." Chaffetz called Russert on it: "That was a loaded question there, Luke!" View the video after the jump.

November 19, 2013, 9:36 AM EST

After my animated description of President Obama's strangely listless conference call of yesterday, my wonderful wife encouraged me to be kind.  

So let me say something sympathetic about Donny Deutsch. Sure, he's a member of the Manhattan/Hamptons liberal axis.  But I sense he's more of a old-fashioned Dem, someone, for example, who embraces American exceptionalism.  So when on today's Morning Joe the adman admitted that the Obamacare failure might set back progressive government for an entire generation, it's noteworthy. Adding to liberal heartburn, Howard Fineman later said  "I sort of agree with Donny" and that Obamacare could be a "huge disaster for Democrats."  View the video after the jump.

November 18, 2013, 10:04 PM EST

Tonight's Organizing For Action conference call with President Obama was billed as "exclusive," and indeed it was . . . in the sense that anyone in the world who signed up for it could listen in.

I was one of the lucky few hundred thousand, and was dumbstruck by how depressed President Obama sounded.  Looks like SNL was onto something. Listen to the brief, edited audio clip from the conference call, and compare and contrast the super-subdued tone with the soaring rhetoric from the good old hope 'n change days of the 2008 campaign.  More after the jump.

November 18, 2013, 11:33 AM EST

You're a self-respecting journalist. A guest on your show who is a leading member of  one of the world's few absolute monarchies criticizes the lack of democracy in another country. Wouldn't you challenge him on his hypocrisy?

Sorry, trick question: we're talking about Morning Joe. On today's show, Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal mockingly referred to the  Muslim Brotherhood's approach to democracy in Egypt under Morsi as "one man, one vote, one time," meaning that after the Brotherhood gained power, it didn't intend to permit future fair elections.  Of course one free election would still be one more than the Saudi monarchy has ever permitted for the country's leader.  But Morning Joe never made a peep.  View the video after the jump.

November 18, 2013, 9:35 AM EST

Q. If the Obama administration fails to keep its promise that the Obamacare website would be fixed by November 30th, how would you describe the press that reported that fact?

A. "Lazy media." If you're NBC political director Chuck Todd, that is.  On today's Morning Joe, Todd said the White House was smart to lower the bar about the website by saying only 80% of people would be able to use it by November 30th. Had they not done so, said Todd, the "lazy media" would have jumped on the failed promise, waving "the hourglass." View the video after the jump.

November 16, 2013, 7:28 AM EST

Somebody cue the Debbie Downer horn. How bad are things for President Obama?  In recent days, the Washington Post has brought us a double-barreled downer blast from two pundits who normally support the president.

All you need to know about Dana Milbank's and Ruth Marcus' columns you can glean from their respective final sentences, which read: "Maybe the president does understand that the game is over." And "Can he recover? I’m sorry to say: I’m not at all confident." Wah-wah, indeed! More after the jump.

November 15, 2013, 2:40 PM EST

Amidst all the liberal doom and gloom stemming from the Obamacare debacle, at least someone's trying to keep hope alive for beleaguered Democrats . . .

On today's Morning Joe, the BBC's Katty Kay did her best to paint a scenario in which Dems go into 2014 with Obamacare working, and the election results would not be the "disaster" that Republicans are assuming.  View the video after the jump.

November 15, 2013, 9:41 AM EST

Let the record show that at 7:17 AM ET on November 15, 2013, a leading member of the MSM flatly declared that a leading Republican was "right" in rejecting an Obama proposal, and what's more, that "the White House knows it."

That MSM equivalent of Haley's Comet streaked by on today's Morning Joe.  A clip had been played of John Boehner rejecting the proposal President Obama offered during his press conference yesterday that would permit  healthcare insurers not to cancel non-complying policies. Boehner said he was "highly skeptical" that President Obama "can do this administratively."  Commenting on it, Chuck Todd said of the Obama proposal "nothing's fixed," then declared "John Boehner's right. And the White House knows it." View the remarkable video after the jump.

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.