Thursday Numbers

Hold on folks – just one more day until the weekend and one more week of January!

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 Oprah and Lance, Union membership, unemployment, Hillary Clinton, Air Force and sexual assaults, the End Government Shutdowns Act, Federal Judges, New York City’s subway system, oldest marathon runner, 13th DUI, Sweet Caroline, AR-15 rifles, Clarence Thomas, gun violence, Keystone XL oil pipeline, Chiefs in Pro Bowl, and the debt limit. There’s a lot more… 


That’s how many people (worldwide) watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview last week with Lance Armstrong.


That’s how many union members there are in the United States.

Union – YES!


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

It decreased about 5,000 from the week before and that is good news!


That’s how much money Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign has in the bank. Her campaign was, at one time, over $20 million in debt. It is now debt free.

Is a run in 2016 in her future? I would be fine with that…


That’s how many sexual assaults were reported in the U.S. Air Force last year (2012), which is almost a 30% increase from 2011. That is only a preliminary report, too.

Lack of leadership…


That’s how much former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell weighs according to this story. Russell is attempting a comeback.


U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the “End Government Shutdowns Act” which “automatically continues current funding for 120 days if Congress cannot agree to a new budget by its annual deadline of October 1.”

Looks like a good bill…


That’s how many deaths are projected to occur in New York City’s subway system this year. Last year there were 55 deaths.


That’s the age of the world’s oldest marathon runner, who announced he will retire after one more race.


Today is Neil Diamond’s 72nd birthday! It’s time to enjoy “Sweet Caroline” HERE.


That’s how many senators signed a letter urging President Obama’s quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Black gold…


That’s how many people have applied to replace two Federal judges in Montana.

Hopefully the two they select will tell clean/funny jokes…


According to this story, “A road tunnel in northern Norway will be shut for several weeks after a 27-ton truckload of sweet goat’s milk cheese caught fire.”

Grilled cheese…


Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau wants to increase the school dropout age to 18. It is currently 16.

Be cool…stay in school…


That’s how many AR-15 rifles were purchased by the Fontana (California) Unified School District Police Department to protect their students.

And the NRA is smiling…


According to the Billings Gazette, “A Billings man who was sentenced in November for his 12th DUI conviction pleaded guilty to his 13th on Friday.”

That should make all Montanans very proud…


According to Gallup, “Given the chance to vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ each of nine key proposals included in President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence, Americans back all nine.”

Hopefully some or all of the proposals can be implemented…


Interested folks now know what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said last week. According to Reuters, “It was nine words and apparently a joke” but it was not a question. Thomas’ last question from the bench occurred on February 22, 2006. You can read the story and find out what Thomas said HERE.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” -Epictetus


The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs will have six players in Sunday’s Pro Bowl. The Chiefs won two games this season and “According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Chiefs will be the first team to have six Pro Bowl players and less than six victories during a season.”

As a Chiefs’ fan it’s hard to get away from how terrible the team was this season…


That’s how long it takes to explain the “Debt Limit” in this video (three minutes and forty-nine seconds).

Hopefully several reporters will watch the video…


Follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord