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    Author: Mark Finkelstein

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    Mark Finkelstein

    Mark has his B.S. from Cornell, an Ed.M. and J.D. from SUNY Buffalo, and an LL.M. from Harvard law. He practiced law in NYC, Mexico City and Paris.

    After a stint in professional tennis management, he returned to Ithaca, NY where he got involved in real estate development and politics. He held senior positions in the administration of NY Gov. George Pataki, was the chairman of the local Republican party, and was a candidate for mayor.

    In 2011, Mark fled the liberal haven of Ithaca and secured political refugee status in Pecan Plantation, TX. He flies small planes, enjoys golf and tennis, and as of the beginning of 2016 has a Vizsla puppy that keeps him busy. He also provides a home for a Congo African Grey parrot.

    Mark blogged at NewsBusters for over ten years, and is delighted to now be at Legal Insurrection. Contact Mark at [email protected]

    Not even Hillary Clinton, acclaimed author of What Happened, went this far.  On Wednesday's Hardball, Dem Rep. Jackie Speier called Russian "hacking" of the presidential election an "act of war." Taking things a significant step further, Speier said:
    "I'm not convinced that they didn't get into the [voting] machines."
    That was too much even for Chris Matthews, who interjected, "we don't know that yet. We don't know that."

    They can get you now, or get you later . . . Fifteen senators, including 2020 hopefuls like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, are co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders' single-payer health care bill. But even some of those not signing on have plans to eventually convert the country to single payer. On today's Morning Joe, Dem Senator Chris Murphy [CT] described his plan, which Politico has called "stealthy single-payer." Under it, people would be given the option of buying into Medicare or remaining with private insurance. Murphy expressed the belief that:

    For months Morning Joe has offered up a steady stream of apocalyptic condemnation of President Trump: his mental health has been explicitly questioned and comments on Charlottesville were blistered, with one panelist calling on his aides to resign en masse or be "forever tainted with the stench." Just last week, Mika Brzezinski was calling Trump "unhinged," claiming she couldn't distinguish between Trump and Kim Jong Un. All of which makes the praise for President Trump on today's show all the more remarkable. Joe Scarborough led off by observing that "everywhere I've gone, people have been talking about Donald Trump's sort of shift." He praised the president's "even-keeled" tweets and the "steadier" organization inside the White House.

    Naples was expected to be Irma's bullseye, but first reports suggest the storm may not have caused the damage everyone expected. On CNN this morning, Chris Cuomo interviewed Naples city manager Bill Moss. After the introduction, Cuomo said, "we didn't expect what happened yesterday, making history in the wrong kind of way, with the gusts we got, and then that surge."

    Paging the PC police! On CNN this morning, when Republican congressman Chris Collins light-heartedly suggested that Dreamers should be free to pursue whatever career they like, including "CNN host," Chris Cuomo responded:
    "That's a low bar, Congressman. You should have higher hopes for people than to get into the media, be used as a piñata for guys like you all the time."

    On CNN this morning, Daily Beast editor-in-chief and CNN political analyst John Avlon painted a very dark picture of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his potential use of data provided to the federal government by "Dreamers." Said Avlon:

    "They are facing deportation after they gave their information and their addresses to the federal government. And all of a sudden now, Jeff Sessions . . . is in a position to weaponize that data, and go after these Dreamers, in a way that could be incredibly ugly in six months and is sinister."

    There was an extended conversation on today's Morning Joe as to whether Kim Jong Un could be deterred. The discussion centered around the question of whether Kim is a rational actor. There was absolutely no ambiguity. The panel was discussing Kim's rationality or lack thereof. Sample statement: John Heilemann asked what Mattis, Tillerson, and McMaster "think about the rationality of this North Korean leader?"

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declined to make a Shermanesque statement that would flatly rule out the possibility that he would appoint himself to fill the Senate seat of Democrat Senator Bob Menendez. Sen. Menendez is currently under federal trial, facing bribery and corruption charges. Should Menendez be removed from office or resign before Christie's term ends on January 18, 2018, Christie would have the power to appoint his replacement. In a recorded interview aired on this today's Morning Joe, New York Times reporter Nick Confessore said to Christie, "I'm looking for a Shermanesque statement here."

    And here we thought that saving lives and rebuilding a devastated area should be the focus . . . Proving that when you wield an anti-racism hammer, everything looks like a nail, a guest on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show this morning declared that "race and class . . are the most significant aspects of this particular hurricane." The guest in question, Charles D. Ellison, is the Washington correspondent of The Philadelphia Tribune, and hosts a show on WURD, an African-American owned radio station in Philly.

    On today's Morning Joe, MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin said that special counsel Robert Mueller "is a cyborg." Joe Scarborough was so tickled by the description that he had Halperin repeat it. Calling Mueller "a relentless opponent," Halperin said that "there is a strategy here, there's a fearlessness, and there's a level of coordination that makes anyone trying to help the president on this be put in a very defensive position."

    On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski trashed President Trump in the wake of his visit to Texas yesterday. As Joe Scarborough was describing the positive impact a president's visit to a disaster area will have, Brzezinski butted in to say it was not in Trump's nature to be "human or empathetic." Cut to MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake, standing in deep water in the middle of a Houston highway, who replied:

    Just as the MSM demands more "gun control" after every mass shooting, so every severe weather event causes the MSM to start beating the "climate change" drum. And so it began on CNN this morning. CNN's Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein gave the standard disclaimer about not attributing any one storm to climate change, but then proceeded to come very close to doing just that. He quoted a former NOAA offical: "this is a preview of the future. There is no doubt that climate change makes . . . storms like this more common."

    Evan Siegfried is the sort of Republican MSNBC prefers as panelists: One who supported Hillary Clinton, and later Evan McMullin, and is happy to condemn President Trump. Appearing on today's AM Joy, Siegfried went beyond mere condemnation to predict Trump would stage an event to exploit politically. Discussing the Arpaio pardon, Siegfried said:

    On today's Morning Joe, after accusing President Trump of "impairment," Howard Dean said that "people keep talking about" the 25th Amendment as a means to remove the president from office. But Dean immediately poured cold water on the notion, saying "I personally think that's probably hooey." Law professor Jonathan Turley agreed with Dean: "Yes, indeed, that falls under the constitutional doctrine of hooey." Turley went on to describe the complicated procedures under the 25th Amendment, which would ultimately require a two-thirds majority in both houses of congress. Concluded Turley: "the 25th Amendment is not a really good option."

    The liberal media's contempt for people who support President Trump was on display on CNN this morning. After a clip was aired of a panel discussion Alisyn Camerota conducted with six Trump supporters, Chris Cuomo disparaged them:
    "You have a fundamental problem with this group of people, with the difference between fact and feeling. What they feel is true versus what is actually true . . . they absorb what [Trump] says, even though they clearly don't fully comprehend it."