Thursday Numbers

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. – Benjamin Franklin

In case you’re new around here, “Thursday Numbers” is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm.

This week’s topics include Obama & Bullock’s taxes, unemployment, the Republican National Committee, the Tax Code, the school board election, AmeriCorps, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, The Western Word’s Facebook page, Jon Tester & his sidekick, a talking horse, the Flathead Water Compact & amendments, the United States Air Force, Aaron Hernandez, Atlanta public school educators, a math problem, and much more!

Your weekly dose of knowledge awaits…


President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid nearly $94,000 in federal taxes on $477,000 in income. They also paid $22,000 in Illinois state taxes. (Source)

Somewhere in a dark basement corner a birther is frantically searching the internet for Obama’s tax returns from Kenya…


That’s how many new claims for unemployment were filed last week. This was an increase from the week before. (Source)


The Republican National Committee (RNC) sent me an email Wednesday saying, 100,000 conservatives just signed our Pledge to Stop Hillary Clinton.

The question is who will conservatives nominate to stop her?


There are over 70,000 pages in the U.S. Tax Code. (Source)

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. — Mark Twain


According to a story in the Great Falls (MT) Tribune it will cost the Great Falls Public School District between $42,000 and $45,000 to have the county run the mail-ballot election. That’s because there’s a write-in candidate for school board. Previously there was only one announced candidate.

While I have no problem with competition for public office, I do have a problem with “write-in” candidates having “to file for office” for it to be legitimate. It has not always been this way. Several years ago I was elected to Neighborhood Council as a write-in candidate. I did not have to file for office. I and another write-in candidate received the most votes and we were called and asked if we would accept the two positions. We both said yes.

Montana makes it very difficult for independent candidates and write-in candidates to run for public office – it’s because the political parties want it this way. Imagine how much better our government could be with more independents…


That’s how much Governor Steve Bullock and first lady Lisa Bullock paid in federal and state income taxes in 2014. Their joint income was about $157,000. (Source)

Is this a great country or what?


That’s how many Montanans enrolled in AmeriCorps in 2013. More Montanans enroll in AmeriCorps per capita than residents of any other state, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. (Source)

AmeriCorps is a great program – congrats!


According to a survey done by The Hill, Eighty-seven Democratic lawmakers have endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run for president. (Source)

They don’t exactly have a lot of choices…


A Rasmussen Reports poll found that 57% think Hillary Clinton will likely win in 2016. (Source)

When the percentage for “Who do you think will win?” is up above 50%, that’s really good news for a candidate.


In The Western Word poll that asked who you support from the announced Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton won with 56% of the vote. Rand Paul was second with 33%; Marco Rubio was third with 11%. Ted Cruz came in last with zero votes.

Thanks to all who voted.


The Western Word’s new Facebook page is growing with 50 “Likes.” They are all great people with many different political views. Since I do not have a TV station, Newspaper, or radio station to help me promote it, please click HERE to “Like” the Facebook page of The Western Word.

Thank you!


On this date 34 years ago, I enlisted in the United States Air Force. For those who are amazed about it being 34 years ago, the secret is that I was allowed to enlist at age five…

It was the “Best job I ever had.”


Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, age 25, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd, age 27. (Source)

Very sad all around…


Hannah Davis is the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swim cover model and now the 24-year-old is replacing Rob Lowe on the DirecTV ads. Bonus: She’s in the commercials with a talking horse! Sadly, the horse does not sound anything like Mister Ed.

The commercials will still be fun to watch…


That’s how many fingers U.S. Senator Jon Tester and his executive assistant, Luke Jackson, have altogether. (Source)

While the Roll Call story about Tester and his sidekick was cute, I did not read if Jackson is from Montana. Nonetheless, it would be nice if Tester (as well as Sen. Daines & Rep. Zinke) hired all Montanans to work in their offices. There are plenty of qualified Montanans who can do these jobs. Besides, the two U.S. Senate seats and one U.S. House seat belong to Montana.


That’s how many amendments were offered yesterday in the Montana Legislature to SB 262, the Flathead Water Compact bill. All the amendments were defeated. (Source)

It was a circus. I expected to see some silly amendment saying the Flathead Water Compact can’t harm Bigfoot’s territory, but (luckily) I did not.


That’s how many former Atlanta public school educators received sentences this week for their roles in a cheating scandal on standardized tests. According to the Associated Press, all 11 were offered plea deals and the eight who did not accept the deals were sentenced to between one and seven years in jail.

I’m sure those eight will have good reason to appeal. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter seemed to lose control several times during the sentencing.


“Albert and Bernard just became friends with Cheryl, and they want to know when her birthday is. Cheryl gives them a list of 10 possible dates.”

That’s the first two lines of a math problem intended for Singaporean high school students that has people stumped around the world. See more HERE (if you want to get a headache).


Since U.S. Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio announced Monday that he was running for President, I have received six e-mails from his campaign.

I did not subscribe…


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