Thursday Numbers

Whoop, whoop this is the last “Thursday Numbers” in February! Where is spring?

If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” 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 Steve Daines & that generation thingy, the U.S. Army, the Golden Gate Bridge, Mega Millions, March madness, military spending, Malmstrom AFB, Sunburst, the 40-yard dash, Montana’s liquor industry, unemployment, and much more!

216,000,000

That’s the Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night – $216 million!

Your chances of winning are a little better if you play…

344,000

That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week – an increase of 14,000 from the week before according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

We just can’t seem to get the new claims for unemployment to stay low…

588

The U.S. Army “has disqualified 588 soldiers as sexual assault counselors, recruiters and drill sergeants for infractions ranging from sexual assault to child abuse to drunken driving” according to a story from USA Today.

Maybe now it’s the Army’s turn to get some bad press…

58

The Great Falls Tribune asked readers “Should Montana privatize its liquor industry?” with 58% of the 331 voters saying yes.

The system Montana currently has in place is very antiquated. The state should be embarrassed.

46

In 2013, that’s how many people committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Officials are thinking about putting a net up. Seriously…

38

The greatest tight end in the history of the NFL, Tony Gonzalez, turns 38 today. (Source)

I was fortunate enough to see Tony G play a few times at Arrowhead…

37

According to Gallup, 37% say the nation spends too much on the military and 28% say it spends too little. The rest say spending is about right. The poll also found, “Democrats and independents are most likely to believe the nation is spending too much, while Republicans are most likely to say it is spending too little.”

34

Happy birthday to Chelsea Clinton, who turns 34 today! (Source)

30

The Wichita State Shockers are “the first Division I (basketball) team to reach 30-0 in the regular season.”

March madness will soon be starting, and then the Shockers will have their hearts broken…

24

“Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, spent about 24 hours” at Malmstrom AFB Wednesday, according to a story in today’s Great Falls Tribune.

The big question is did he fire anyone?

15

Congrats to the Sunburst (MT) Middle School students who are “one of 15 finalists in the national Samsung ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ contest based on the research it conducted to solve the community’s problem with the alkali flats.” Check out the story about the project and, most importantly, vote for Sunburst HERE.

I’ve been through the area on Interstate 15 when visibility was low due to the salt from the alkali flats – hopefully the students will come up with a solution to the problem and make the area safer for drivers.

4.53

That’s how fast (4.53 seconds) defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney ran the 40-yard dash during the NFL scouting combine this week. Clowney is 6’5” and weighs 266 pounds.

I ran the 40-yard dash once, but they had to use a calendar to time me…

3, 5, 7

U.S. Senate candidate and current U.S. Representative Steve Daines (R-Mont.) claims he is a fifth-generation Montanan, but the Montana Democrats say he also claimed to be a third-generation Montanan. Now Democrats want to see his birth certificate, which is something the sillies on the far-right wanted in regard to Barack Obama’s citizenship.

I do not know the rules or the place in the Montana Code where it’s explained when you can call yourself a third, fourth, or fifth-generation Montanan. If someone can find the “rules,” please let me know. Daines was born in California. I don’t think he had a choice about that. I don’t know if that disqualifies him from the “XX-generation Montanan” thingy or not.

The whole “I’m a XX-generation Montanan” line that some politicians in Montana use makes me chuckle. I will stop talking about it before I hurt some feelings. By the way, Montana’s greatest elected official was born in New York City – I know that bothers some Montanans to hear that.

What amazes me most about this whole political “I’m a truer Montanan than you” game is I learned that Daines lived and worked in Iowa City, Iowa, for seven years. Seven Years! Anyone who can stomach living in Iowa for seven years has to be pretty incredible.

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