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:

Latest from Mark Finkelstein
February 4, 2008, 12:24 PM EST
H/t ML.

How fixated is the MSM on its beloved Democrats? In a recent week, the media bestowed more coverage on Bill Clinton than on any of the Republican presidential candidates.

That's the finding of the The Project for Excellence in Journalism [PEJ], a part of the Pew Research Center, which has never been accused of right-wing tendencies.
February 4, 2008, 10:37 AM EST
When a Democrat pulls off an upset in California, it's a "win." If a disfavored Republican does the same, he's "stealing." Just ask George Stephanopoulos, appearing on today's Good Morning America.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS [pointing to map]: This is Barack Obama's targets tomorrow night, this is what I'm going to be watching. If he wins Massachussetts, where he's got the support of Ted Kennedy, he's going to have a good night. If he wins Missouri, right in the middle of the country, he's going to have a great night. If he wins California tomorrow night, it is going to be very hard to deny him the nomination.

View video here.

February 4, 2008, 8:50 AM EST

Opening for Hillary? Obama has spoken some sense on the surge . . .

Whereas Obama's claim to foreign policy fame among Dems has been his opposition from day one to the Iraq war, it appears he may have now put himself to the right of Hillary Clinton on the issue of sustaining the surge.

Readers will recall that when Tim Russert asked Clinton on Meet the Press of January 13th whether she would be open to sustaining the surge through the end of the year if General Petraeus requested it, Hillary tersely answered "No, and here's why, Tim."

But confronted with a similar hypothetical on this morning's Early Show, Obama evinced more flexibility.

View video here.

February 4, 2008, 7:15 AM EST

Serious question: why does Mika Brzezinski bother? Why does she sustain the charade of non-partisanship? Not a day goes by that host Joe Scarborough doesn't proclaim his conservative Republicanism. But despite a mountain of evidence as documented here over the months, Brzezinski continues to deny the undeniable: that she is a partisan Democrat.

On today's Morning Joe, Mika first put her GOP consultant cap on, counseling Republicans to stop supporting Romney, then floated the notion that she might actually vote Republican in the fall. The duo were mulling the latest poll numbers, which showed Mitt Romney having jumped up over the last month.

View video here.

February 3, 2008, 4:43 PM EST

On this Super Sunday, it's fitting I suppose that Mike Huckabee would be out there blocking and tackling for Team McCain. Appearing on this morning's Today show, the former Arkansas governor made a pro forma claim that he's still running for president and not the veep slot. But Huckabee certainly seemed to be acting as what Mark Steyn described in a recent Hugh Hewitt interview as McCain's "wing man."

Consider Huckabee's reply to a question from Sunday co-host Jenna Wolfe [a resident, coincidentally, of Chappaqua, NY, home to Bill and Hillary.]
February 3, 2008, 7:33 AM EST
As its Hollywood-borrowed headline There Will Be Blood suggests, the gist of Maureen Dowd's column today is that appearances of that icky post-debate clinch notwithstanding, there is no love lost between Hillary and Obama. The junior senator from Illinois won't agree to run as Hillary's vice-presidential candidate. Or as Maureen metaphorically puts it:
Why would Obama want to follow in the frustrated footsteps of Al Gore . . . being third banana to Billary?

Along the way, Dowd appears to break some news of a confrontation between the two that one camp views as having been physical . . .

February 2, 2008, 2:40 PM EST
The LA Times has endorsed John McCain in the GOP primary, and at least two of its reasons for doing so should give conservatives pause: the liberal paper likes McCain because he's weak on border fences and strong on global warming.

Excerpts [emphasis added]:
As the Republican field indulged this campaign season in an orgy of ignorance on immigration, McCain stood his ground, sponsoring legislation that would provide a route to citizenship for the 11 million to 12 million immigrants here illegally. His rivals have argued for mass deportations and strong border fences.
February 2, 2008, 8:14 AM EST
Mooch-a-mas grassas! That was Ted Kennedy -- the man who brought you "Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser" -- thanking a California crowd. View here. Now we know why he paid someone back at Harvard to take that Spanish exam.

John McCain might want to borrow that snippet of smashed Spanish from his amnesty bill buddy to thank Today. The NBC show this morning depicted the Republican primary race as all but over with the GOP establishment coalescing around the Arizona senator. And for good measure, weekend co-host Lester Holt threw in some campaign consulting, gratis, counseling McCain against moving right to appeal to the conservative base.

Holt interviewed Chris Matthews. View video here.
February 1, 2008, 7:44 PM EST

David Frum might not be every conservative's cup of tea. But un-fans of John McCain will find plenty to like in Frum's biting analysis of the Republican front-runner.

The former Bush speechwriter and author of Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, was a guest on this evening's Tucker.

View video here.

February 1, 2008, 10:26 AM EST

Tim Russert isn't practicing his Christmas tree-ornament hanging technique. The Meet the Press host is demonstrating how John McCain is dangling the VP slot to Mike Huckabee. And Huck seems as transfixed as a hound before a bone, judging by the way he's staying in the race against all odds and spending his time taking shots at Mitt Romney.

Russert was a guest during the 7 AM half-hour of Morning Joe.

View video here.

February 1, 2008, 7:28 AM EST
Don't tell Joe Scarborough that John McCain's the stronger Republican candidate because he can attract voters in the middle. The Morning Joe host has depicted McCain as unelectable because of the opposition to him of two key conservative leaders, Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson.

Scarborough's comments during the opening segment of today's Morning Joe were prompted by an article in today's New York Times that included this line [emphasis added]:
Since his victory in the Florida primary, the growing possibility that Mr. McCain may carry the Republican banner in November is causing anguish to the right. Some, including James C. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh, say it is far too late for forgiveness.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: There are a lot of conservatives that I've heard grousing that have said "I would rather a Democrat win then John McCain."

View video here.

January 31, 2008, 9:28 AM EST - Media Research Center"For his part, Obama appears to view Hillary as a thug who will say anything to win." -- ABC's Dan Harris, GMA, 01-31-08.

Gangsta rappers for Hillary? Could be. After all, Barack Obama apparently sees her as a "thug." At least that's what ABC's Dan Harris said on today's Good Morning America.

ROBIN ROBERTS: And that brings us now to the Democrats. It's their turn tonight. Whatever your political feelings, it's an historic moment in American history. A woman, an African-American man, one will shatter 200 years of history and win the nomination. The stakes could not be any higher. Dan Harris is here with the story.

DAN HARRIS: High stakes, high tension, high drama. The showdown with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has become increasingly acidic. And their positions on the issues are essentially identical but their personalities and personal philosophies are very different.

View video here.

January 31, 2008, 8:13 AM EST

How is John McCain not a conservative? Let Joe Scarborough count the ways. The Morning Joe host thundered out a bill of particulars today that was nothing less than an indictment of McCain's lack of conservative credentials.

It was Mika Brzezinski's reference to Bob Novak's column of today, questioning McCain's conservatism, that sparked Scarborough's outburst.

View video here.

January 30, 2008, 8:39 PM EST
Michael Medved has hurled the ultimate insult at Rush Limbaugh -- that he's acting like a liberal. According to Medved, Rush is thinking with his emotions, not his mind, when it comes to his criticism of of John McCain.

McCain supporter Medved appeared on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC show this evening.

View video here.
January 30, 2008, 10:25 AM EST

Can a picture be worth a thousand tears? Behold Chris Matthews in the depths of despair, contemplating the prospect that Obama-the-dreamer has lost to Hillary the machine candidate.

Schmoozing with Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on today's Morning Joe, Matthews had analogized Obama to Mozart the genius while casting Hillary in the role of the workmanlike but uninspired Salieri.

View video here.

January 29, 2008, 9:35 PM EST

Covering Hillary's tricked-up "victory" event for a Dem Florida primary that was not supposed to be contested, even MSNBC co-anchor Keith Olbermann eventually got bored and pulled away.

But before he did, the junior senator from New York began to lay out her plans for America. Though sheer ennui eventually drove MSNBC off, the network hung in for enough of Clinton's "victory" speech to give us a taste for what might rightly be called "Hillary's Manifesto."

Warning: remove small children and sensitive pets from room before viewing video here.

January 29, 2008, 8:30 AM EST

I'm measuring my words carefully. Harry Smith has raised the possibility that Barack Obama's life could be in danger.

The Early Show anchor interviewed Ted Kennedy this morning in the wake of his endorsement of Obama yesterday. Smith's initial broaching of the subject of danger to Obama was very cryptic:

HARRY SMITH: When you see that enthusiasm [for Obama] though, and when you see the generational change that seems to be taking place before our eyes, does it make you at all fearful?
January 28, 2008, 12:20 PM EST

Leave it to Rush to nail it. Here's how Limbaugh opened today's show, speaking of the way Bill Clinton injected race into the campaign with his comparison [view video of Clinton making his statement here] of Obama's South Carolina primary victory to Jesse Jackson's twin wins in the Palmetto State in the '80s:

We've gone from Bull Connor to Bull Clinton.

January 28, 2008, 8:44 AM EST

Harry Smith won't be up on the platform with Ted Kennedy today endorsing Barack Obama. But he might be there in spirit, after having absolutely unloaded on Bill Clinton's on this morning's Early Show. The CBS anchor made the stunning suggestion that when it comes to matters racial, Bill Clinton may have perpetrated a fraud on African-Americans.

Smith's guest was "diversity expert" Joe Watson and you might have expected Watson [who FWIW impressed me favorably] to carry the anti-Bill ball. But ultimately it was Smith who offered the single most damning suggestion. The CBS host began by playing the clip of Bill's by-now infamous words from the weekend, writing off the Obama victory in South Carolina by pointing out that Jesse Jackson had won there twice in the 80s.

View video here.

January 27, 2008, 6:55 PM EST
Takeaway exchange from John McCain's Meet The Press appearance today.
TIM RUSSERT: If the Senate passed your bill, S-1433, the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, would you as president sign it?

JOHN MCCAIN: Yeah, but the lesson is that it isn't going to come, it isn't going to come. The lesson is they want the borders secured first.

View video here.