William Simpson wrote:

/clear: both/ is the critical rule that allow the footer to clear both floating divs above it.

#sidebar {
position: absolute;
left: 51em;
padding: 115px 0.4em 2em 2.5em;
color: #606263; top:0;

... is not floating.

Unless you can predict the height of absolutely positioned content (you usually can't) or want to rearrange the document with JavaScript after initial rendering (nasty), then placing content below absolutely positioned content should generally be forgotten about.

http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=CssLayouts has a bunch of points to basic layouts that you can look at. If you have a footer, then you probably want something based around floats, not abs pos.

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