Thursday Numbers

We made it to Thursday – congratulations!  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).

NOTICE:  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 Crossroads GPS, unemployment, C-130s, Brian Schweitzer, Jon Sonju, Jon Tester, the NFL draft, a discharge, the TSA, Rick Hill, Denny Rehberg, Barack Obama, KC Royals, Postal Service, veterans, and much more!


According to this press release, Crossroads GPS “announced the launch of a new round of TV spots focused on jobs, reckless Senate spending, Obamacare, and tax increases in five key states.”  One of those “key” states is Montana.  The total buy for all five states is $1.2 million.

I think GPS stands for Grassroots Policy Strategies – you can thank me for this knowledge later…


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “In the week ending April 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 389,000.”

These are new claims for unemployment…and I’m thinking the unemployment rate will rise when it is released next week…


According to a couple of press releases from the Montanans for Tester campaign, Crossroads GPS “has bought almost $200,000 of television airtime in Montana” to attack Tester.

Of course, they need donations to fight back…


According to this story, “A Pentagon official signaled on Wednesday that the Army could lay off as many as 24,000 enlisted personnel and up to 5,000 officers within five years to meet a projected reduction in the force driven by budget cuts and the winding down of two wars.”

The Army and layoffs is something I did not think I would ever hear together…


Crossroads GPS released a new video yesterday about U.S. Senator Jon Tester they call “Remember.”  The video has 629 views as of this morning.

You will probably see it on your local Montana television channel a few thousand times…


Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman last night.  The video is posted on YouTube and as of this morning it has 165 views.

Ol’ Brian is a skillful flim-flam man and politician…


On Wednesday morning, the Rick Hill for Montana Governor Campaign sent an e-mail with a link to a video about Hill’s running mate, Jon Sonju.  It has 143 views as of this morning.

With the video being three minutes and 50 seconds long coupled with the information it contained, I found myself actually nodding off while watching it…


A ticket for a “wide turn” costs $85 in Great Falls, Montana.  Read the story HERE.

Some folks are probably wishing they would deny me access to a computer for a few months…


Happy 79th birthday to Carol Burnett!


Tonight is the start of the 2012 NFL draft and there will be 32 picks in the first round.

Each of the 32 picks will soon be multi-millionaires…and they will buy more tattoos…


According to this story, “Gary Stein, 26, a nine-year veteran who served in Iraq, will be demoted to lance corporal, and his discharge status will make him ineligible for most federal veterans benefits, after Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo accepted the unanimous recommendation of an Administrative Separation Board.”

Stein “made disparaging comments” about President Obama “that were detrimental to good order and discipline and violated military law.”

I imagine some civilians, who do not understand the military and never served, will find this punishment hard to comprehend.


Several reports this week told us that, “The Pentagon made an unusual announcement in a letter to Congress that it would add $400 million to its budget request to save 2,200 Air Guard jobs and maintain 24 C-130 Hercules cargo planes in Guard units.”

This will probably change several times…so don’t schedule a parade just yet…


The Kansas City Royals are the worst team (right now) in Major League Baseball (MLB) losing 12 games in a row which includes 10 losses at home.  Their winning percentage is .222, but they did snap their 12-game losing streak last night!

That 1985 World Series championship seems so long ago…


According to this story, “At 9.02 percent, the turnover rate among employees working in the VA Montana Health Care System is higher than the national average of 8.47 percent within the Veterans Health Administration.”

Take it from me – trying to get a job in that “club” is virtually impossible…


According to this story, “The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who became hysterical during a security screening at a Kansas airport said Wednesday that the child was forced to undergo a pat-down after hugging her, with security agents yelling and calling the crying girl an uncooperative suspect.”  The girl is from Montana.

Have no fear, Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, and Montana’s junior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, are both going to talk to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) about this.  They might even write a letter…


The Great Falls Tribune published a story this morning (Thursday) reporting “Mail processing centers in Helena, Butte and Wolf Point got some good news Wednesday with the Senate passage of legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service.”  The House must also pass the same bill for it to become law.

Politicians are doing their best “NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) work.  Meanwhile the Postal Service is going broke and even more facilities may close if  they delay the inevitable.


According to an e-mail I received from Jim Messina, the Campaign Manager of Obama for America, “On Saturday, May 5th, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama are holding the first two public rallies of the campaign in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia.”

Here!  We!  Go!


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