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By Tom Blumer | July 5, 2015 | 11:57 PM EDT

All the attention given to the decidedly mixed employment report the government issued early Thursday morning and the ongoing debt drama in Greece overshadowed a very disappointing release on factory orders which arrived from the Census Bureau 90 minutes later.

In a cursory eight-paragraph report at the Associated Press, Martin Crutsinger relayed the basic bad news, but studiously avoided citing the kinds of statistics which might have gotten noticed on the cluttered news day. These items include but are certainly not limited to the fact that seasonally adjusted orders have declined in eight of the past ten months, that reported monthly shipments have been coming in below levels seen two years ago, and that reported monthly orders are trailing levels seen three years ago.

By Melissa Mullins | July 5, 2015 | 10:52 PM EDT

Russell Brand – the controversial comedian and self-proclaimed “revolutionary” says he would go to Syria, but only if he could fly first class. 

In his latest YouTube lecture, Brand blamed Seifeddine Rezgui’s mass killing of 38 innocent people in Tunisia on the British government and called prime minister David Cameron's call for a minute of silence an “empty, futile gesture, a general policy of bull----.” He believed the attack should be blamed on Britain selling arms abroad, perpetuating war for profit.

By Tim Graham | July 5, 2015 | 5:37 PM EDT

On Sunday’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper was talking to his panel about the enthusiasm gap between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton among liberals. Tapper asked Van Jones: “ Van, when she was a senator, correct me if I'm wrong, she was a fairly moderate Democrat. I mean she wasn't this progressive firebrand?” Jones agreed: “And neither was the Democratic Party, a party of firebrands.”

Correct me if I’m wrong? When confronted on Sunday afternoon by a friend on Twitter about Hillary’s actual liberal voting record in the Senate, Tapper retracted the remark on Twitter.

By Melissa Mullins | July 5, 2015 | 3:45 PM EDT

Talk about the irony – a Latina actress named America blasting presidential candidate Donald Trump on recent comments he made describing illegal immigrants.

America Ferrera is best known for her television role on “Ugly Betty” and has been an outspoken supporter for Democrats and immigration issues. In an an open letter to Trump on The Huffington Post, Ferrera actually thanking him for his comments because it would be a catalyst for driving more Latin/Hispanic voters to the polls:

By Tom Johnson | July 5, 2015 | 2:26 PM EDT

The two most recent Republican presidential nominees weren’t particular favorites of the party’s core voters. This time, suggests Jamelle Bouie, if the GOP wants a candidate who excites its base, the choice is clear: Donald Trump, who boasts the “belligerence” and “bigotry” that “ugly and angry” right-wingers love.

Since Trump’s never held political office, observed Bouie in a Wednesday piece, he can say pretty much anything that’ll rev up righty activists, whereas even staunchly conservative officeholders “can appease the Republican base with harsh attacks on the other side, but they can’t endorse every crazy idea, lest they hurt their [legislative] goals and priorities.”

By Tim Graham | July 5, 2015 | 12:13 PM EDT

Like The New York Times, The Washington Post also undertook a political tour of the summer movies. Movie critic Ann Hornaday hailed Magic Mike XXL as a harbinger of more progressive male characters who are in touch with their “inner drag queens.”

Even stranger, Hornaday labored to compare the stripper corps of Magic Mike XXL to....mendicant priests? Since when do priests bump and grind?

By Clay Waters | July 5, 2015 | 7:57 AM EDT

They're at it again. New York Times movie critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis once again drained the fun out of another slate of summer action flicks, smothering the popcorn with a heavy dose of stale feminist politics in "Heroines Triumph at Box Office, but Has Anything Changed in Hollywood?," their latest turgid annual summer movie diatribe against sexism in Hollywood. Liberal feminist male critic (Scott), who once called Michael Moore "a credit to the Republic," debated ultra-liberal feminist female film critic (Dargis), who celebrated "watching Charlize Theron lead a revolution against a decadent pasty patriarchy" in the new Mad Max movie, and "a rising activism or maybe newfound gutsiness in the industry that echoes the resurgent feminism we’ve seen on college campuses and elsewhere."

By Tim Graham | July 5, 2015 | 7:46 AM EDT

Via Soopermexican at The Right Scoop, we learn Hillary spent Independence Day corralling her dependent traveling press corps behind a rope -- literally.

This is a prime example of how Hillary's imperious nature created a visual that telegraphs to voters how she wants to campaign in a bubble and isn't really interested in transparency. Can you imagine a Republican being able to rope off the press corps without it damaging their image?

By Melissa Mullins | July 5, 2015 | 7:21 AM EDT

Peter Moskowitz is a New York City-based reporter who recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. Moskowitz is gay and he has a problem with all of you who slapped a rainbow on your cute little Facebook profile picture.  He says that slapping a rainbow on your profile picture is not activism, rather “slacktivism”. Ouch!

Why? Because You don’t understand his struggle. You cheapened the struggle with this rainbow on your little Facebook profile photo. That's a sore winner.

By Jeffrey Lord | July 4, 2015 | 5:14 PM EDT

The Harrisburg Patriot-News - the paper of record in my long-adopted Pennsylvania hometown (where I live across the Susquehanna in a Cumberland County suburb) - has been in the national news. For embarrassing itself with a snarling, anti-First Amendment-sounding tirade against readers who dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage. A decision the paper enthusiastically supported. Last Sunday, a rare missed-church morning, I looked up at Fox and Friends to find co-host Tucker Carlson grilling the paper’s editor John Micek on this kerfuffle. It did not go well for Mr. Micek.

Yow. How could this happen?

By Brent Baker | July 4, 2015 | 5:04 PM EDT

Lee Greenwood sang his iconic “God Bless the USA” between periods of the NHL’s 2015 “Winter Classic” outdoor game in Washington, DC on New Year’s Day, but the real treat came off-stage in a concourse at Nationals Park. Fortunately, it was recorded on a smart phone, so you can enjoy it this Independence Day. Intern Gabrielle Dube posted it with this description: “After Lee Greenwood’s performance during the intermission, he met with the Military Choir to take pictures and it sparked an impromptu a cappella version of ‘God Bless the USA.’ Amazing!”

By Jack Coleman | July 4, 2015 | 4:39 PM EDT

Rachel Maddow neglecting to state on her show that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is a socialist -- surely an oversight. Maddow not mentioning this again the following night -- must be a coincidence. Maddow not doing it three nights in a row -- is there a pattern here?

Once more from Maddow and it's clearly a trend.

By Dylan Gwinn | July 4, 2015 | 2:42 PM EDT

Remember that time the Obama administration took a courageous stand against the face of evil and racism in our time? Me neither. No, instead the Obama Administration has contented itself with throwing down the gauntlet in the face of an NFL team.

If the Redskins want to move back to the District of Columbia, they need to cave and change their allegedly racist name.

By Sarah Stites | July 4, 2015 | 1:01 PM EDT

Independence Day is out! It’s so 239 years ago. America is not “number one” and we need to avoid any celebration of “bombs bursting in air” this July 4th. We now need three days to celebrate not our independence, but our dependence on the rest of the world.

Feeling sick yet? As Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote for the Huffington Post, “we need to reframe the celebrations this July 3-5 weekend.” How? As “Inter-Dependence Day,” of course! 

By Tom Johnson | July 4, 2015 | 12:08 PM EDT

Richard Nixon’s campaign did what it could to make sure the Democratic party didn’t nominate its strongest presidential candidate in 1972, thereby facilitating Nixon’s re-election. President Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2016, but New York magazine's Jonathan Chait speculates that Obama is trying to smooth Hillary Clinton’s path to the Oval Office by nudging Republicans into nominating Scott Walker.