Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by to read “Thursday Numbers.”

If this is your first time, this is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Mega Millions, the VA backlog, unemployment, ObamaCare enrollments, Xbox, fee increase, Judge Pinski, Max Baucus, John Kerry, Tea Party, Colt .45, Cade Foster, wreaths across America, and much more!

400,000,000

That’s the jackpot ($400 million) for the Mega Millions lottery on Friday night!

404,306

According to a press release from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the “VA announced that the backlog (of pending disability claims) rose by 2,744, with 404,306 veterans waiting more than 125 days. It is the second week in a row in which the backlog has increased.”

This is not good news.

368,000

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 368,000 people filed new claims for unemployment last week – an increase of about 68,000. Last week claims dipped below 300,000.

It’s tough being without a job over the holidays…

137,000

According to the Associated Press, “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday released enrollment figures through Nov. 30, showing about 137,000 people had completed the full process to get coverage across the 36 states using the federal website.”

That includes about 1,382 people in Montana.

450

According to this story, “A teenager has been left fuming after mistakenly buying a photo of an in-demand computer console online. Peter Clatworthy thought he had paid £450 (about $736 U.S.) for an XBox One console on eBay, but actually received a picture of one in the post.”

He will be getting a refund.

124

The Daily Caller reports, “The newly-released budget deal between Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan will hike the aviation security fee paid by air travelers by 124 percent, if passed.”

Ouch…

75

Kaleb Kuebler, 16 years old, was sentenced Wednesday by Cascade County District Court Judge Greg Pinski to 75 years in the Montana State Prison, with 10 years suspended for the rape of an 11-year-old girl as she walked home from school last year. Kuebler was 15 at the time.

According to the Great Falls Tribune, “Pinski’s judgment was harsher than the terms of the nonbinding plea agreement Kuebler had signed, which recommended he receive a 60-year sentence to the state prison with 30 of those suspended on probation in the community.”

While it was a heinous crime that needed strong punishment, I think Kuebler is a sick young man who needs help. I hope he gets the help he greatly needs.

As for Judge Greg Pinski, I hope he’s as tough on drunk drivers as he is on teenagers. He did prove a point though; Montana District Court judges are all over the map when it comes to the punishment they hand out for rape.

72

U.S. Senator Max Baucus turned 72 yesterday (Dec. 11).

70

Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator John Kerry turned 70 yesterday (Dec. 11).

Kerry also served in Vietnam…

51

According to Gallup, “For the first time, a slim majority (51%) of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party movement.” That is the lowest yet. About 30% had a favorable opinion.

I am with the slim majority!

45

JimRomenesko.com told about this birth: “Colt .45 Stratemeyer was born Nov. 26, 2013 at Tillamook Regional Medical Center. He weighed seven pounds, two ounces. He joins his older brother, Hunter Allen Stratemeyer, 3.”

I imagine he will be a little pistol…

43

Cade Foster is the kicker for Alabama. He wears #43 for the football team. Foster missed three field goals in the Crimson Tide’s 34-28 loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30. Foster received a hand-written note of encouragement from George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.

From one 43 to another…

15

It costs $15 to sponsor a single wreath to be placed on a veteran’s grave during the annual wreath ceremonies held all over the U.S. each December. Find out how HERE

## Merry Christmas ##

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