Thursday – the excitement is starting to build for the weekend! Welcome! If this is your first time visiting The Western Word (TWW), my Thursday Numbers column is where I take a look at the numbers mentioned in the news and provide commentary (often with a touch of sarcasm).
DISCLAIMER: You will probably gain an immeasurable amount of knowledge by reading this column! This knowledge will probably impress your family, friends and co-workers and it might even be life changing – so consider yourself warned before reading…
This week I write about art, stealing, a new jail, Newt, Max, unemployment, troopers, Planned Parenthood, YouTube views, a convention, the DEA, astrological advice, the 14th Amendment, CNN, and much more!
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” – has become the most expensive artwork ever sold selling for $119,922,500 at an auction. Read the story about it HERE.
Reuters reports, “A former finance official stole more than $53 million in city funds from former President Ronald Reagan’s boyhood hometown in Illinois in a fraud that spanned more than two decades.” You can read the whole story HERE.
The official took an extended vacation and that is when a co-worker discovered the secret account.
I guess the moral of this story is don’t take extended vacations…
The Associated Press reported, “The Chippewa Cree Tribe marked the opening of its $12.5 million, 54-bed jail and police headquarters near Box Elder [Montana] with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.” They added, “The jail was built mostly with federal stimulus money.”
This is the message in an e-mail I recently received: “I am contacting you to assist me in transferring the sum of $6,200,000.00 us dollars into your personal bank account, this will be for the benefit of both of us.”
“…for the benefit of both of us.” You bet it would…
This report says, “Newt Gingrich ends his White House dream today with his political committee facing a mountain of debts — owing about $4 million to scores of businesses and campaign workers around the country who fear they will never get paid.”
Surely Newt will pay off his debts, won’t he? I know, I know, don’t call you Shirley…
The Associated Press reports “Montana state troopers will soon be able to immediately verify a driver’s insurance coverage with a new online system designed to cut down on the number of uninsured drivers in the state.” The system comes with “an annual cost of about $500,000 that is paid for by a license plate fee.”
I wonder if the troopers can access Twitter and Facebook on the new “system”…
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 365,000 people filed new claims for unemployment last week. That is a decrease.
It is good news…unless you are one of the 365,000 people…
In a guest column, U.S. Senator Max Baucus writes, “Nearly 170,000 Montana seniors and 8,000 Montana military retirees rely on Medicare.”
Over the years, Baucus has been very good at throwing out numbers like these and also numbers about jobs created. Nobody challenges him.
So prove it Max – send me the names…
That’s how many views the YouTube video titled “If You’re A Progressive, Prove It!” from Democratic U.S. House candidate Dave Strohmaier has received as of this morning. Watch it HERE.
That’s a pretty impressive number of views…
The 2012 Montana GOP State Convention will be held in Missoula June 14-16. For $5,000 you can be a “Tote Bag Sponsor.”
Better hurry – as of this morning there’s only one left, but have no fear you can spend the same amount and be a “Platinum Sponsor” which may mean you won’t have anything to put your stuff in.
According to the Associated Press on this date in 1988, “The White House acknowledged that first lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule President Ronald Reagan’s activities.”
According to this recent story, “A postcard mailed from Chicago in 1958 has finally reached its intended recipient…”
In other news from 1958, the cost of a gallon of gas rose to 25 cents…
To prove there’s a big difference between me and the Romneys – The last shirt I wore with a fish on it was a t-shirt from REO Speedwagon’s 1978 album, “You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish.”
That’s how many views on YouTube the “Montana Conservative Families” video comparing the family values of Montana GOP Governor Candidates Ken Miller and Rick Hill has received as of this morning. This is the video that says “abuse and adultery” are Rick Hill’s family values. You can watch it HERE.
It would be very hard for Ronald Reagan to pass the conservative test for the GOP these days…
According to a flier I received in the mail from Planned Parenthood of Montana, I should not “sign any petition to put Initiative 108 (CI-108) on the ballot.”
Here’s the front and back of the flier:
That’s how many rapes the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating in Missoula, Montana. Reportedly the rapes happened over a three-year period.
Hopefully the DOJ will get to the bottom of this problem and make Missoula a safer place to live, work, and attend college.
That’s how many views on YouTube the Montana GOP’s new ad, “Bullock: Resisting Obamacare ‘lacks merit’” has received as of this morning. You can watch it HERE.
The Montana GOP may need to shift some money to help Denny Rehberg in his bid to unseat Jon Tester…
That’s how many views on YouTube the video from Democratic House candidate Rob Stutz titled, “Steve Daines has trouble with the truth – Part 2″ has received as of this morning. You can watch it HERE.
According to Gallup, President Obama’s approval rating is 47%. How does that compare to other Presidents in their first term? In May of 2004, George W. Bush’s approval rating was 49%. In May of 1996, Bill Clinton’s approval rating was 55%. In May of 1992, George H.W. Bush was at 40%. In May of 1980, Jimmy Carter’s approval rating was 43%.
Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was found dead Wednesday morning. He was 43. RIP.
On May 1, my wife and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary.
She deserves a medal for sticking with me this long…also, I was 10 when we were married…
Reuters reports, “Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll.”
I am ready, are you?
USA Today reports “Republican lawmakers in 15 states Tuesday announced a nationwide effort to change the way the 14th Amendment is interpreted and stop granting citizenship to babies born in the USA to illegal immigrants.”
This is silly – just silly enough that I bet someone in the Montana Legislature introduces a similar bill in January…
April was CNN’s lowest-rated month in 10 years according to a story in the New York Times.
I like to watch Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan…
“An independent group backing Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy has placed a $4.3 million advertising buy in nine battleground states.” Read the whole story HERE.
Those states are Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and New Hampshire.
The airwaves are going to get really busy…
The Western Word was one of five blogs featured in the Great Falls Tribune’s Big Sky Cyber Sampler article. You can read the story HERE.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) apologized to a University of California engineering student who was locked in a holding cell for more than four days and forgotten. Read the rest of the story HERE.
I guess we should all hope we never get arrested by the DEA…
Follow the life and times of Jack (the Blogger) Brown on Twitter @TheWesternWord