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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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The nation’s biggest employer has abruptly shut itself down.

It’s difficult to describe the ramifications of suddenly taking $300 million a day out of an economy where millions of Americans are already out of work. But this graph from Gallup shows the immediate effect the shutdown has had on consumer confidence, which is now 14 points lower than it was the week before the shutdown. This means consumers haven’t been this pessimistic since December of 2011.

In the mid-1990s — during the last government shutdown — the economy was far healthier, which may explain why Americans already view this shutdown as more serious than the last one.

Gallup Shutdown Compared to 1995

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Wandrea "Shaye" Moss

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Just who deserves protection in America?

If you observe the folks this country chooses to protect and chooses to ignore, you may get an answer that doesn’t exactly line up with America’s ideals.

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The First Amendment reflects a principled but shrewd attitude toward religion, which can be summarized: Government should keep its big fat nose out of matters of faith. The current Supreme Court, however, is not in full agreement with that proposition. It is in half agreement — and half is not enough.

This section of the Bill of Rights contains two commands. First, the government can't do anything "respecting an establishment of religion" — that is, sponsoring, subsidizing or providing special favors for religious institutions or individuals.

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