Thursday Numbers

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule 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 holiday travel, Major League Baseball salaries, unemployment, the bi-partisan budget agreement, Max Baucus, Steve Daines, Montana State University, John Walsh, swearing, big government, Jack Johnson and the Tribune, wireless phones, Apollo 17, a special announcement about my Mega Millions winnings, and much more – so read on!


According to a story in USA Today which is based on data from AAA, “Some 94.5 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the year-end holiday season, a 0.6% increase over last year.”

I will travel zero miles…


That was the average salary ($3.39 million) in Major League Baseball last season.

Where’s my bat and glove…


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week. It was an increase of 10,000.

I thought we’d see the number of new claims go down with the seasonal hiring. Guess not.


According to, in the budget deal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) a “typical officer retiring at age 42 after 20 (years of service) would lose about $124,000.”

Hopefully the Democrats and Republicans will revisit this after the holidays and change this law.


According to, the budget deal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would “cut the lifetime value of military retirement by roughly $83,000 for a typical enlisted member who retires at age 40 after 20 years’ service”

Everyone knows the enlisted folks do all the work! Hopefully the Democrats and Republicans will revisit this after the holidays and change this law.


U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has been serving in the U.S. Senate since 1978. Reportedly Baucus will be nominated by President Obama to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Baucus had already announced that he would not be running for reelection in 2014.

Since the Democrats need to hang on to their majority in the senate, this will enable Montana’s Democratic Governor, Steve Bullock, to nominate his Lt. Governor, John Walsh, to fill Baucus seat until the November 2014 election. Walsh is already a candidate. This might give them a better chance of winning the seat, as Walsh is way behind Republican Steve Daines in the polls. Democrats probably believe this is the best way to keep the Montana seat in Democratic hands – kind of their version of a “Hail Mary” to help them retain their majority in the senate.

When the nomination becomes official, I will have more about Baucus.


Montana State University (MSU) held their fall commencement on Saturday, December 14, to award more than 1,100 degrees to summer and fall graduates.

Congressman Steve Daines announced on his official Twitter page that his daughter was graduating from MSU. It looks like she may have received a nice graduation present for her hard work. Either that or she likes to tweet photos of balloons attached to cars…

Congrats to all the graduates – and welcome to the real world…


According to this story, “Ohioans curse once every 150 conversations, according to Marchex, a mobile ad company that examined 600,000 phone calls made from consumers to businesses over the past year.”

I figured Iowa would make the list – and it did. It’s not one of my favorite places. I think that’s the state that made me start swearing. I was as pure as snow before living in Iowa.

See where your state stands in regards to cursing and saying “please” and “thank you” HERE.


According to Gallup, “Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question.”

Didn’t President Bill Clinton tell us in 1996 that, “the era of big government is over”?


That’s how many votes the “Bi-partisan budget agreement” received in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. It passed 64-36. According to The Hill, “Nine Republican senators voted with 55 Democrats and Independents to pass the budget deal.”

Let me take moment to explain what this vote means in political terms: Those nine Republican Senators who voted for the bill are RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). The Republicans who voted against the bill are Tea Party people and/or they are running for President or re-election or all three. The Democrats who voted for it are vacationers. They just wanted to get the hell out of town and start their Christmas vacation.

If you have any questions, e-mail me…


Jack Johnson, the CMR High School football coach in Great Falls, Montana, is retiring after 41 seasons. He won 13 state championships and was runner-up six times. It was a great career.

It was so great that the Great Falls Tribune sports department gave Johnson the royal send-off with what I estimate to be about 5,000 words in several stories accompanied by 11 photos.


According to a story from National Journal which was based on a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Thirty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. live in households that have only a wireless telephone, while 2.2 percent have no phone at all.”

My home phone has dust on it…


On this date in 1972, “Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.” (Source)


There were two winning tickets in the Mega Millions lottery on Tuesday. They will split an estimated $636,000,000. There were 20 tickets that won one million each, and 631 tickets that won $5,000. There were 7,692 tickets that won $500. If you paid an extra dollar for Megaplier, then your winnings (not the grand prize jackpot) are increased by 4 because that was the Megaplier number chosen.

I am happy to announce that I, your humble blogger, am a Mega Millions winner!

I won a dollar. Please, no interviews.


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