The wisdom of the Founding Fathers of the American Republic was such that the preservation of religious liberty was enunciated in the first clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The application of those 16 words has often been a matter of debate, but the preservation of freedom of religion has been understood as numbered among the fundamental liberties of free people living under the U.S. Constitution.

On July 19, the Washington Post published the first installment in a series of investigative reports looking at the U.S. intelligence community’s massive growth since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Post titles the series, posted on a special website established for the project : “Top Secret America.”

A mid-July survey from the Gallup polling agency found that the nation’s flagging economy, rising unemployment, and intrusive government top the list of issues on the minds of Americans this summer.

On July 15 the U.S. Army reported 32 confirmed or suspected suicides among its troops in June, the highest number in a single month since the Vietnam conflict. Of the deaths, 21 were active duty soldiers, while 11 were reserve soldiers on inactive status. Seven of the soldiers killed themselves during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the Army reported that among the 32 killed, ten had been deployed multiple times.

Just before the July 4th weekend at the Ohio Statehouse, the Assistant Director of the House Democratic Communications Office distributed a daily e-mail to all staff members of the House of Representatives there. Keary McCarthy, a spokesman for the Ohio Speaker of the House, Democrat Armond Budish, explained that such an e-mail of diverse political opinions is sent to lawmakers of both parties each day.