Welcome to Thursday and my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers mentioned in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes tainted with just a little sarcasm).
BE ADVISED: By reading this column you will probably gain knowledge not found on other websites! You can use this information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. The information might even be life changing – so consider yourself warned…
This week I write about cowboy boots, the federal deficit, firefighting, unemployment, Veterans Affairs and Patton, MEA/MFT, West Nile, honest cities, the Republican National Convention, ACT scores, new ads, and much more!
According to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “For fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion, CBO estimates, marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion. That projection is down slightly from the $1.2 trillion deficit that CBO projected in March.”
Woohoo…it’s down slightly from $1.2 trillion to $1.1 trillion…
The Associated Press reported, “The Northern Rockies Coordination Center put the total cost of fighting large wildfires in Montana, including costs to federal and state agencies, at $64 million so far this season.”
Let’s all pray for the firefighters…
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “In the week ending August 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 372,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 368,000.”
That means 372,000 new claims for unemployment were filed last week. That means 372,000 people lost their jobs – and those are just the people who filed.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports (Page 1792), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) transferred $100,000 to the Montana Republican Party in July. H/T @greggiroux
Mother’s milk…and maybe some donuts…
The Hill reports, “The Department of Veterans Affairs says that the $52,000 spent on videos parodying the movie ‘Patton’ that played at two conferences last year should not have been produced and were a ‘misuse of taxpayer funds.’”
No kidding. Maybe they could use that money to hire at least one more person to review disability claims as the backlog is in the thousands…
The Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers (MEA/MFT) which “represents 18,000 working Montanans” has endorsed Democrat Pam Bucy for Montana Attorney General.
If they stick together, the MEA/MFT is quite a significant voting bloc in Montana…if they stick together…
On this date in 2008, “Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced his choice of running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.” Source: AP.
I hear Biden said it was a big “f^&%$” deal…
That’s how many illnesses have been reported so far this year from the West Nile virus. The Associated Press reports, “In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported by mid-August. There have also been 41 deaths this year.” The virus has been found in Montana – story HERE.
Let’s be careful out there…
What does Oakland, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah, have in common? According to this story, they are the most honest cities in America scoring 100% in an honesty study.
The Hill released their list of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers on Tuesday. You can check out the list HERE. You have to be worth $5.9 million to even make the list.
If I was running against someone who was a millionaire, my campaign slogan would be, “If you’re a millionaire, vote for him/her. If you’re a regular person with credit card bills and a mortgage, vote for me.”
According to a new poll from Gallup, “More Americans think the No Child Left Behind Act, which has governed federal education grants to public schools for a decade, has made education worse rather than better, by 29% to 16%. Thirty-eight percent say NCLB hasn’t made much of a difference, while 17% are not familiar enough with the law to rate it.”
I think we’ve about run the course with NCLB…
The Associated Press reports that Montana’s ACT “scores released Wednesday show Montana’s composite score average was 22, which is a tenth of a point lower than the average of the class of 2011. But that’s still nearly a full point higher than the 21.1 national average.”
“…still nearly a full point higher than the 21.1 national average.” Thank a teacher…
According to this story, “18-year-old Tia Grover, of Westfield, went through a flashing red light at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday just before she was struck by the cruiser driven by Trooper Daniel Moran.” It was also reported, “Grover was eating from a McDonald’s bag.”
OMDW (Oh My Double Whopper) Watch out…to make a buck or two the City of Great Falls (MT) may pass an ordinance banning the eating of food in vehicles…
The Democratic National Convention Committee announced Wednesday that Denise Juneau, Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, was one of 10 additional women selected to speak at the convention.
Jon Tester’s campaign posted a photo on Twitter of what they contend are Congressman Denny Rehberg’s size nine custom made cowboy boots (with the United States Congress seal on each boot) saying; “Check out @dennyrehberg’s actual ‘cowboy’ boots. Custom ordered, then returned, then put back up for sale.”
Seriously? Custom made boots with a Congressional seal on them? REHBERG! Great googly moogly…
At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, attendees can attend five days worth of parties (unless Hurricane Isaac changes things). Check out the list of events HERE.
It’s gonna be one big drunken party…
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be campaigning in four states during the Republican National Convention, according to this report.
Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is talking about supporting a third-party candidate in the Todd Akin (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) U.S. Senate race in Missouri.
I am sure the McCaskill team would love a second conservative in the race…
According to Roll Call, “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today launched its second TV ad in Montana where Sen. Jon Tester (D) is fending off a challenge from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) in what is expected to be one of the closest races in the country.”
We may see an ad about Rehberg’s boots soon. I am starting to see some ads about the Montana Governor’s race, too. Fun, fun.
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