Thursday Numbers

We made it Thursday – Congrats!

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.

Please note that 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 you spend your time reading blogs they may not be that impressed…

This week I write about Manti Te’o, LeBron, unemployment, the NRA, Tester and Begich, Montana gambling, the 57th quadrennial Presidential Inauguration, graduation rate, Michelle Obama, Kid Rock, Zooey, Muhammad Ali, Salazar and Schweitzer, the circus in Helena, the Python Challenge, my guns, and much more!


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “In the week ending January 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 335,000, a decrease of 37,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 372,000.”

The decrease in claims filed is good news!


In an e-mail, that’s how many signatures the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wanted to obtain by midnight last night to “Stand up to the NRA.”


LeBron James of the Miami Heat became the youngest player to score 20,000 points in NBA history. He also made his 5000th assist in the same game.

I don’t care for LeBron James, but he is a good player…


In a fundraising e-mail, Senator Jon Tester says that Alaska Senator Mark Begich “needs $10,000 by the end of January to build a grassroots network ready to win.”

Begich won, in what I call a “tainted” election, in 2008 over Ted Stevens.  He won by less than 4000 votes. We’ll see if he can hold on to the seat in what may be a very interesting race in 2014.


That’s about how many people signed up for the “Python Challenge” in the Florida.

You won’t see me signing up to hunt pythons anytime soon…


That’s the current limit for poker pots in Montana. The Montana Legislature is looking into raising that limit to $800.

Montana continues to “dip their toe in the water” about gambling. Why not just jump in and allow full-blown gambling like in Nevada…


Currently there are 150 members of the Montana Legislature, but Republican state Sen. Jason Priest believes they could do the work with only 120. His proposal was tabled.

The Montana Legislature meets every two years for 90 days. Maybe someone will introduce a bill to have them meet every 90 years for two days. Talk about saving money…


That’s the high school graduation rate in Montana for the 2011-12 school year.

That is great news. A big salute to the teachers!


Happy 71st birthday to “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali.


On Monday we get to witness the “57th quadrennial Presidential Inauguration.” The last Presidential Inauguration was the “Largest attendance of any event in the history of Washington, DC” according to the Inauguration website.


That’s the age of Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar who announced that he was stepping down in March.

Maybe this is a position that former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer might be interested in filling, although he would have a boss in this job…


First Lady Michelle Obama turns 49 today. Happy Birthday!


Kid Rock turns 42 today. Take a few minutes to enjoy “Born Free.” Click HERE.


Zooey Deschanel, of “New Girl” (one of my favorite shows) turns 33 years old today.


That’s how many executive actions that President Obama announced yesterday he would take in regards to gun violence.

Let’s work together folks!


That’s the age of Lennay Kekua who was Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend. She died and the “love story” between Kekua and Te’o was told over and over and over. It was disclosed yesterday that Kekua did not really exist and it was a hoax. Te’o contends he was the victim of the hoax.

If that’s your story, Manti, if that’s your story…


The Great Falls Tribune published a story on Wednesday about the e-mails between six extremely conservative Republican members of the Montana Legislature which the Tribune says shows “a simmering ideological battle is threatening to boil over onto the Senate floor.”

In other words, the circus in Helena is in full swing…

Seriously though – it’s what many of us have known for the past few years: The Republican “big tent” is closed to moderates in Montana. The moderate Republicans should side with the Democratic caucus…


Before President Obama’s speech yesterday about gun violence I personally owned four guns.

After his speech (and even today) I still have four guns…

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