Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by for your weekly fix of “Thursday Numbers.” The weekend is in sight!

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 sarcasm) just to make you smile, shake your head, or make you send me nasty e-mails or Tweets.

This week I write about unemployment, Missoula County, Rep. Eric Cantor, Healthy Montana Initiative, Montana GOP Convention sponsor packages, President Ronald Reagan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Charter Cable, Barry Beach, AG Tim Fox, Rep. Steve Daines, Sen. John Walsh, President George H.W. Bush, veterans, DUI, and much more!

317,000

That is the number of new claims for unemployment filed last week according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This is an increase from the week before.

210,000

That’s how much it will cost Missoula County for one year after an agreement was reached between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Missoula County attorney “over the alleged mishandling of sexual assault cases by county prosecutors.” (Source)

It sounded like the news conference was fun to watch…

168,637

According to the New York Times, “Since the beginning of last year, [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor’s campaign had spent about $168,637 at steakhouses compared with the $200,000 his challenger, David Brat, had spent on his entire campaign.”

Cantor lost. I imagine if you look at most successful grassroots campaigns, you’ll find that they spend more money on pizza and bags of burgers than steaks…

70,000

The Healthy Montana Initiative campaign is dedicated to passing I-170, a citizens’ ballot initiative to expand Montana’s Medicaid program to serve 70,000 uninsured, low-income people.

People are out and about collecting signatures. They need 24,000 to get it on the ballot. I signed the petition and I urge you to sign it, too. Find out more HERE.

4,000

That’s how much the “Platinum Sponsorship” package will cost you at the 2014 Montana Republican Convention June 19-21 in Billings. The package includes all access passes, reserved seating, full-page ad, recognition, etc. According to the MT GOP, Platinum sponsors include; Greg & Susan Gianforte, Steve Daines for Montana, the HCSC PAC which is partially funded by employees of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Ryan Zinke for Congress. They also have cheaper packages for sponsors starting at $325.

I think they need a “poor blogger” package for $1.99, which should include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…and free coffee.

1987

On this date in 1987, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” (Source)

My first vote for President was for Ronald Reagan.

620

According to the testimony from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who appeared in front of the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday, “The U.S. government has transferred 620 detainees from Guantanamo since May 2002, with 532 transfers occurring during the Bush administration and 88 transfers occurring during the Obama administration.”

So…Bush wins, right?

212

I watch the FX Network show “The Americans” which is set in the 1980s and about Soviet KGB spies in the United States. It’s very good. They just completed season two. I watch it through Charter Cable’s On-Demand feature. I watched it this season and with only two episodes left, for some reason Charter’s On-Demand went from episode #211 to #213 and skipped episode #212.

Trying to speak to a live person to find out the reason or report this issue to Charter has been fruitless. Every company should have one live person who answers phones.

100

“The Montana Board of Pardons and Parole rejected Barry Beach’s latest clemency application, meaning Beach will continue to serve a 100-year prison sentence for the 1979 slaying of a high school classmate on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.” (Source)

Hopefully Beach’s legal team will take his appeal into the Federal court system. I am confident the Feds will show Montana just how ridiculous the state justice system has been in this situation.

93

The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Wednesday to help veterans get healthcare more quickly 93-3. The three “No” votes were Corker (R-TN), Johnson (R-WI), and Sessions (R-AL) – all Republicans. (Source)

90

Happy 90th birthday to former President George H.W. Bush!

He is a true patriot.

67

Rep. Eric Cantor’s Conservative Action Score is 67/100 (Source) and he was attacked for not being Conservative enough. By comparison, Rep. Steve Daines has a Conservative Action Score of 56/100 (Source).  Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri was the most conservative at 100/100.

63

Bun E. Carlos, drummer for the rock band “Cheap Trick,” turns 63 today.

48

Veterans are waiting an average of 48 days at Fort Harrison Veterans Affairs Medical Center near Helena for their first appointment with a primary care doctor. (Source)

Congress is going to fix it.  If you believe that…

45

A week before he went down in defeat in a Virginia Republican primary, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s pollster, John McLaughlin, said Cantor had a 62% to 28% lead over his Republican opponent, Dave Brat. Brat beat Cantor by 11 points which makes it a 45 point swing. (Source)

Cantor came across to me as someone who thought he was just a little better than the average person. I’m surprised he lasted this long.

23

A pollster who reportedly has Representative Steve Daines up by 23 points over Senator John Walsh in Montana’s U.S. Senate race also showed Eric Cantor with an 11 point lead over Dave Brat. Cantor lost to Brat by 11 points. (Source)

So you’re telling me there’s a chance…

14

The Billings Gazette reports that Edwin Cuch is facing his 14th DUI charge.

Why is anyone even free to face a 14th DUI charge?

4

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican who is never one to let a chance for publicity slip by, “issued a statement commending” the decision to keep Barry Beach in prison saying, “Prior state attorneys general, the Montana Supreme Court and four separate decisions from the board have all concluded that Beach is guilty and should remain in prison to serve the rest of his sentence.” (Source)

There are many conservatives across Montana who support Barry Beach. Hopefully they will remember Fox’s statements against Beach at the voting booth.

 

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