Thursday Numbers

It is harder to conceal ignorance than to acquire knowledge. – Arnold H. Glasow

Welcome to Thursday Numbers and to your weekly dose of knowledge!

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 Chicago & reparations, Montana District Judge George “Jerry” Huss, unemployment,, IRS workers, deflategate, public school testing, National Day of Prayer, Obamacare, water shortage, Stamp Out Hunger food drive, Nielsen Household, Barry Beach, Roger Bannister, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and much more!


That’s how much ($5.5 million) the Chicago City Council approved in a reparations package for the victims of the city’s notorious police torture scandal that also includes a formal apology and a promise to teach schoolchildren about one of the darkest chapters in Chicago’s history. (Source)

After reading about this, all I could say was, “Wow.”


District Judge George “Jerry” Huss agreed to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by his former court reporter for more than $744,000, and that the State of Montana Office of the Court Administrator, which employs state court employees, is responsible for payment.

That sounds like a pretty sweet deal for the judge, except that state officials have asked a court to declare they’re not obliged to defend him and not liable for any damages in the case. (Source)


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week. (Source)


National Journal reported this week that Presidential candidate Rand Paul paid $100,980 for the domain (Source)

Maybe he should have planned ahead…


That’s how many IRS workers were found to have willfully evaded taxes over a 10-year period, including some who were responsible for enforcing the nation’s tax laws, a government watchdog said Wednesday. (Source)

I bet the chatter around the water cooler was a little awkward…


That’s how many pages there are in the “Wells Report” which is about the underinflated footballs used by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

According to the Wells Report (page 69), the underinflated footballs were checked, documented, and adjusted to the correct pressure by the officials at halftime.

In the second half, the Patriots outscored the Colts 28-0…


That’s the percentage of schools required to participate in the annual exams under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Due to “software glitches” Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau told the Associated Press she expects between 82 percent and 92 percent of Montana schools to participate following technical problems with the new online testing system. (Source)

Montana should not be held accountable since the product being used was substandard.

Also, it’s being reported that the Montana Board of Public Education may have not been consulted by Juneau about letting some schools opt out of the testing. (Source)


Today (Thursday) is the 64th Anniversary of the National Day of Prayer. To find an event near you, click HERE.

I try to pray every day, but today I will be praying specifically for our elected officials, our military, and our first responders.


According to a new report from Gallup, Americans are more positive about the work the federal government is doing in healthcare. Forty-three percent say they are satisfied with the government’s work in this arena, up 14 percentage points from 2013. Still, 56% say they are dissatisfied. (Source)

If the politicians would work together with the goal to improve healthcare, instead of repealing Obamacare, they could make it so much better…


Due to a water shortage in California, state regulators Tuesday ordered communities to slash water use by as much as 36 percent. (Source)

I discovered a few years ago that grass does not grow as much if you don’t water it…


This Saturday (May 9) is the 23rd year of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive – so just set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time.

More information can be found HERE.


I live an extra exciting life! I’m proud to report that my family was a “Nielsen Household” for the past seven days. What that involves is that we were required to keep a TV Viewing Diary for each television in our home. This helps to produce accurate TV ratings for Nielsen.

I believe this is third or fourth time we’ve been asked to do it. The pay is not too good. This time we received $1.00. Yes, one dollar (total).


That was the decision by the Montana Supreme Court rejecting the re-sentencing request for Barry Beach who was convicted of killing Kim Nees, his high-school classmate in 1979. They were both 17. Beach was sentenced in 1984 to 100 years in prison without the chance of parole for the murder. (Source)

Now it looks like Beach’s best chance for freedom may rest with Governor Steve Bullock. A new Montana law that goes into effect October 1 gives the Governor the final say on clemency decisions.

Beach has several vocal supporters and if Bullock grants him clemency, it will also help Bullock’s chances for reelection in 2016. It’s all about politics…


On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes, finishing in 3:59.4 during a track meet in Oxford, England.

According to, the record today for the mile is 3:43.13 by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. This record was set in Rome in 1999.

I’m so slow that they would probably use a calendar to time me…


On May 6, 1915, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox hit the first of his 714 major league home runs in a 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds.

Barry Bonds holds the MLB record for most home runs with 762. Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame…


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4 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. For the week ending May 2, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment compensation were 265,000, up 3,000 from the previous week. The less volatile four-week moving average was 279,500, down 4,250 from the previous week. That is the lowest level in 15 years.

    Click to access eta20150852.pdf

    • Doug – It may be the lowest level in 15 years, but each month there are approximately 2.1 million persons who are what they call “marginally attached to the labor force.” The DOL explains it like this:

      These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a
      job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

      There’s also a subcategory. The DOL explains it like this:

      Among the marginally attached, there were 738,000 discouraged workers in March, little
      different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
      workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
      available for them.

      While the lower number of people filing new claims is great and I’m glad it’s below 300k, I think there’s more that can be done to create jobs.


  2. 265,000 – compared to 169,000 new jobs in April is not so good unless you use common core math to compare the two…

    1,580 – The IRS ignored the law to fire anyone who is delinquent on their taxes, proving once again, it is better to work for the government than in the private sector…

    56 – wait until they fully enforce the employer mandate next year, then take the poll…

    7 – We told Nielson no several times because I didn’t want anyone to know I watch MSNBC…

    • Barry – Thanks. I’ve posted the new claims for unemployment for years and it’s finally below 300k, but there are a lot of people who are no longer counted, so I don’t really believe those numbers as much as I once did.
      As for Nielsen, I did write down MSNBC shows Morning Joe and Maddow! I did not watch Fox News at all this week. BTW, I also listed “Cops” and “Jail” in my diary… -JmB

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