Thursday Numbers

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. – Albert Einstein

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 heroin use, country music, unemployment, eating steaks, Willie’s Reserve, Total Clout Index, Cascade County & Gonorrhea, Krakauer’s new book, MSNBC & taxes, utility bill increases, and the NFL’s first regular season game is scheduled!


Heroin use is on the rise. USA Today is reporting on a study from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which found:

From 2002 through 2007, heroin use was relatively stable with fewer than 400,000 users, the study reported. The number ticked up to 455,000 in 2008, then shot up to 582,000 in 2009. In 2013, the latest year available, 681,000 people used heroin in the previous year.

Are we going back to the 1960s?


The Great Falls Tribune reported this week that Cascade County commissioners voted to spend $400,000 to book three top country stars (Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice and Thomas Rhett) for the State Fair in Great Falls (July 24 to Aug. 1).

I do like Bentley’s music video “Drunk on a Plane,” but I do wish there was a classic rock band on the schedule.


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week, which was a slight increase. (Source)


That’s how many gallons of fuel Air Force One used during the President’s trip to the Everglades on Earth Day. (Source)

That’s also how many gallons of fuel Air Force One would use if he went to the Everglades the day after Earth Day…


A Sacramento woman has a full belly and plenty to celebrate after successfully eating three 72-ounce steaks in 20 minutes. She won a $6,000 prize for her effort. (Source)

If someone wants to buy the steaks, I’ll give it a try…


Country music star Willie Nelson, who is 81 years old, announced plans Monday to roll out his own brand of marijuana, called “Willie’s Reserve.” (Source)

That reminds me of the question, “If there are two potheads in the back of a car, then who is driving?” The answer is a cop…


According to Roll Call, the three-member Montana Congressional delegation ranks 45th in their Total Clout Index. This is scored using a weighted formula including total size, seniority, percentage from the party in power, chairmen and ranking members, and assignments to exclusive committees. (Source)

In my opinion, members of U.S. House and Senate start gaining valuable “clout” after serving about 12 years. Of course, that does not stop their press people from calling them “powerful” or “senior member.” 


This year in Cascade County (MT) there have been 21 confirmed cases of Gonorrhea. There were only 24 cases in total all of last year. (Source)



You can buy Jon Krakauer’s new book “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College” for your Kindle at Amazon for $10.99. The hardcover is $17.53.

By the way, my books are available for Kindle, too. Click on the link at the top of the page!


That’s Montana’s unemployment rate for March. (Source)


It looks like MSNBC has four employees who have tax problems. (Source)

While I joke about some of the local television news, sports, and weather people needing to go on “special assignment” to learn how to read from a teleprompter, the MSNBC folks should probably take a class called Taxes 101.


That’s how much ($3.22) the average utility bill will increase (per month) in Great Falls MT. The City Commission unanimously approved the increase this week. (Source)

I guess the Great Falls police are not writing enough of those $115 cellphone violation tickets…


The first regular season NFL game is Thursday, September 10. The Pittsburgh Steelers visit the New England Patriots.

Let’s go Kansas City Chiefs!


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4 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Doug, you have me confused with someone else, I am neither a right wing nut nor an intolerant lefty. I have no party affiliation. I have a disdain for both parties and see no difference between the two. The comment is in reference to Willie’s weed, whom Barack is more open about than Clinton was, at least Obama inhaled! It also ties into politicians at their level not driving anywhere, like Hillary…I support legalizing weed but no longer imbibe, but feel everyone should if they like. It was not a slam on a black man and his wife, if fact, you brought up color, I didn’t…but your racist viewpoint is enlightening in defining your character. Have a nice night.

    • Pretty lame rationalization. Why bring them, or anybody else for that matter, into the topic of Willie Nelson and his top shelf pot?

      And yes, you have had some posts that are decidedly rightwingnut in their talking points.

  2. 81 As far as the driver, probably not the case anymore even in Montana, so I would have guessed the Secret Service since Barack and Michelle don’t drive anymore!

    • Rightwingnuts can’t stand to pass up an opportunity, no matter how far-fetched and/or past tense it is, to slam the black man in the White House and his wife.

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