Thursday Numbers

Welcome to the first “Thursday Numbers” column of March! Is this a great country or what?

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, “Thursday Numbers” is my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm.

NOTICE: If you read this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Then again, when they find out that you spend your time reading blogs they may not be too impressed…

This week I write about SPAM, unemployment, calligraphers, Dow Jones, Public Service Commission, renters, the 1913 session, minimum wage, knives on planes, Mansfield-Metcalf, bison, filibuster, Kansas City Royals, and much more!

6,100,000

I received an e-mail from Robert S. Mueller, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), telling me that “We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment totaling $6,100,000.00 be released to you via a custom pin based ATM card with a maximum withdrawal limit of $5,000 a day which is powered by Visa Card and can be used anywhere in the world were you see a Visa Card Logo on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).”

It’s almost like Christmas…if it wasn’t SPAM…

340,000

That’s how many new claims for unemployment there were last week according to the U.S. Department of Labor – which is a decrease of 7,000 from the week before.

That is good news!

96,725

According to The Weekly Standard that is how much the White House’s “Chief Calligrapher” receives in a yearly salary. There are also two assistants who get paid $85,953 and $94,372, respectively.

I thought calligraphers were on the endangered species list…

14,253.77

The Dow Jones industrial average set a record closing high Tuesday, finishing at 14,253.77.

2002

That is the year of the current version of the GED (General Educational Development). The GED is scheduled to go digital in 2014. The test will also become tougher with the newer version.

Stay in school and eat your veggies…

290

That’s how many people answered the Great Falls Tribune poll question, “Do you the think the PSC should repeal the rule that mandates the disclosure of how much Montana utilities pay their top three executives?”

28% voted “Yes” and 72% voted “No.”

Applause goes to Commissioner Travis Kavulla, who was the only member of the all-Republican Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) to vote against the proposed rule change. As for the other fellows on the PSC who apparently have their heads where the sun does not shine: C’Mon Man!

250

In the Montana Legislature, Senator Kendall Van Dyk (D-Billings) and House Taxation Committee Chairman Representative Mike Miller (R-Helmville) have introduced SB 318, which would provide an income tax credit of 15% of gross rent paid, up to a maximum of $250 for 2013.

In other words, renters are people (who vote), too…

100

The Montana House of Representatives “turned back the clock” 100 years on Tuesday to reenact the legislative session of 1913.

Rumors were floating around that several Republicans wanted to adopt the 1913 rules for the current session so that women would not be able to vote…

86

This is the 86th Thursday Numbers column! Thank you readers! You can catch the older ones by going to “Categories” on the right side of the screen and selecting “Thursday Numbers from the drop-down menu.

71

According to Gallup, 71% favor raising the minimum wage to $9.00.

63

That’s how many bison are heading to a research facility from Yellowstone National Park.

I hope the bison are able to conduct research on something really interesting…

50

That’s how much a ticket costs ($50.00) for the Montana Democrats’ annual Mansfield-Metcalf dinner which is Saturday night in Helena.

It’s a party! Remember folks – drunk driving is on the rise in Helena…

13

U.S. Senator Rand Paul “used an old-style filibuster lasting nearly 13 hours to block Senate confirmation of John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director.” Paul talked “about the possible use of drones against targets in the United States” during his filibuster.

Ironically, the filibuster ended when Paul was eliminated by a drone in the senate chambers (just kiddin’ – it ended when he had to use the bathroom).

12

Lawmakers in Arkansas have banned abortions “from the 12th week of pregnancy onward” which is now “the most restrictive abortion law in the country.”

I thought this was settled in 1973…

12

The Washington Post reports “President Obama personally paid for a dinner out in Washington for a dozen Republican senators, the White House has confirmed.”

It is amazing what a free dinner and drinks can get you in Washington, D.C…I hope the senators report the free dinner and drinks on their disclosure forms….

11

The Kansas City Royals are 11-0 in Major League Baseball spring training games this season.

It would be nice to see the Royals be competitive this season…

2.36

You can now carry on to a plane a folding knife with a blade that is 2.36 inches or less in length.

Darn…my knife is 2.38 inches…

2

According to the Associated Press, Robert Schiavelli of Rockville Centre, on Long Island, was slapped with two summonses for “disturbing the peace.” His neighbor said he was laughing too loudly.

His neighbor must belong to the NFAA (No Fun At All) organization…

1

The Republican budget in the Montana Legislature reportedly exceeds Democrat Governor Steve Bullock’s total spending request by about 1 percent.

Hey big spenders…

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