Mark Finkelstein

Mark Finkelstein's picture
Contributing Editor


Lives in Oak Island, North Carolina

mark.finkelstein@gmail.com 

Twitter: @markfinkelstein

Pilot, parrots, dogs, tennis.

Latest from Mark Finkelstein

On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski claims Elizabeth Warren won the Democrat debate by rejecting stereotypes about what women should avoid, and instead being "aggressive" and "pissed off" and living her message. If Democrats were smart, they would have one, cardinal criterion when it comes to picking their presidential candidate: who has the best shot at defeating President Trump. But Mika Brzezinski seems more interested in choosing a champion for her brand of in-your-face feminism. And thus it was on today's Morning Joe that Mika declared Elizabeth Warren the big winner of last night's debate because "she was aggressive, she was pissed off."



On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski says that President Trump is afraid of Robert Mueller's testimony because Mueller represents "good versus evil." Donny Deutsch says that Mueller's testimony won't change much, and warns people against the "post-Mueller depression" they experienced when the Mueller report first came out. Mika agrees with Donny on "post-Mueller depression." And for saying that Mueller's testimony will be "useless," the Morning Joe panel vilifies Rudy Giuliani as "stupid, pathetic, grotesque" and a "critter."



On Ari Melber's MSNBC show, Mara Gay, a member of the New York Times editorial board, argues that the US should admit Central Americans fleeing "domestic violence." David Frum rebuts, saying the asylum system is designed to address cases of individual governmental persecution, not people's personal troubles. He also refutes Gay's claim that violence is on the rise in Central America, pointing out that the homicide rate has declined by two-thirds since 2011.



On Joy Reid's MSNBC show, illegal alien Jose Antonio Vargas called on US citizens to take "risks" to "protect" illegals if they see them being arrested. Sounds like Vargas was calling on people to commit the crime of interfering with a lawful arrest. 



When on Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch praised President Trump's restraint on Iran, Joe Scarborough interjected to clarify that Deutsch was only referring to Trump's restraint in regard to attacking Iran. Scarborough was concerned that Deutsch would get "killed" on Twitter if it were thought he was more broadly praising Trump's restraint. Scarborough also said that although Trump "lies," his lies were not "deadly," unlike those made by JFK and LBJ when they lied about the winnability of the Vietnam War. Those lies, said Scarborough, led to 57,000 American deaths.



Defending Joe Biden over his remarks about having worked with segregationist senators, Joe Scarborough says that Franklin Roosevelt did the same, and as a result, "FDR passed Social Security, passed the New Deal and he saved this country and saved poor people like my parents in the Deep South." In fact, the New Deal did nothing to "save the country." The Depression lingered after its adoption and it was only sometime after the beginning of WWII that the emerged from the Depression. 



Looks like Morning Joe was really shaken by the massive, enthusiastic, crowd that turned out for President Trump's campaign kick-off rally in Orlando last night. Scrambling for something to counter the wave, the show settled on comparing the President to an old, fat Elvis going through the motions with his shtick. MSNBC's John Heilemann, sinking to a particularly ugly low, claimed Trump reminded him of Elvis "in Graceland, in front of like the six televisions, with a big, huge bottle of Quaaludes, and a bottle of vodka, and the shotgun."



On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski says she'd "love to hear" from former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis or other former members of the Trump administration to hear about the "dysfunction" in the Trump administration and the "erosion of our credibility on the world stage."



On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski claimed Elizabeth Warren has had her [liberal] message "from the get-go, her entire life, her whole life." There's only one tiny problem: it seems that Warren was a registered Republican until . . . 1996, when Warren was 47 years old.



If as Michael Kinsley once said, "a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth," Joe Scarborough committed a gigantic gaffe on today's Morning Joe. Commenting on a bill proposed by Dem Sen. Mark Warner that would have made it illegal for campaigns not to report offers of foreign assistance to the FBI, Scarborough said, "all we're doing is trying to stop Russians." "We're" doing? Yup, Scarborough, and his fellow Democrats.



On CNN's New Day, New York Times reporter and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman said "Joe Biden's core strength is his decency," and claimed the Trump campaign is "having a very hard time figuring out how to attack that." We'll leave on the table whether the Avenatti-Stormy Network has the credentials to talk about anyone's "decency." But Haberman's phrasing is strange. Trump doesn't have trouble "figuring out" how to attack anyone. Maybe liberal reporters think the punches won't land, but he's going to punch.



Joe Scarborough: not just an MSNBC host anymore. Now a Biden campaign adviser . . . On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski reads from Scarborough's Washington Post column of yesterday, in which he counseled Joe Biden to stick to his script. The column, read by Mika, included this line: "If you think I am trying to send Biden a message with this column, you are correct. Too much is riding on next year’s election for any Democratic candidate to shoot from the hip rhetorically."



On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough says "I know" the Roberts Supreme Court won't overturn Roe v. Wade, in light of a recent poll showing only 13% of Americans favor overturning it. Refusing to apply the Constitution, bowing instead to the public sentiment of the day, would represent an appalling abdication of the Court's duty. 



On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough jokes about Paul Manafort being incarcerated at the infamous hellhole of Rikers Island in NYC. And thus it was that on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough joked about Paul Manfort being confined at Rikers Island, which has been described as a "hellhole," as here, here, and  "the most notorious jail in America."



To say that Joy Reid has impeachment on the noggin is a vast understatement. Once again today, she devoted the great majority of her MSNBC show to pushing impeachment. For our readers' entertainment, we've put together a mashup in which the I-word was used no fewer than 46 times in a variety of forms and contexts—and we might have missed a few!



On Nicolle Wallace's MSNBC show, Deadline: White House, John Heilemann attacks Fox News in general, and Sean Hannity in particular, for creating a political and business model built on lies, fantasy, hypocrisy, and "bullshit."



MSNBC hosts Ari Melber and Chris Matthews trash Nancy Pelosi's line that, rather than seeing President Trump impeached, she'd like to see him "in prison." Melber suggests it's the equivalent of President Trump's "lock her up" line, and Matthews says it's worthy of a "rinky-dink, fourth-world" country like "Pakistan."



Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Geist offer surprising praise of President Trump's speech on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, calling it "really good, terrific," and the "most powerful speech" he's given as POTUS.



On CNN, David Gregory says that despite his lengthy sit-down with Prince Charles, and talks with Al Gore and others, President Trump is not convinced about climate change and the "consensus" view in favor of a carbon tax.



Guest hosting Morning Joe, Willie Geist suggests that the Democrats' decision to call John Dean—former star Watergate witness against Richard Nixon—to testify at next week's House Judiciary Committee hearing "add[s] to President Trump’s argument that it's just a big a clown show."