Thursday Numbers

Welcome to the last Thursday Numbers of May! Are you ready for June?

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 drinking water, the Air Force is hiring, unwanted calls, IRS, unemployment, grizzly bears, Montana GOP convention, grandchildren, assisted suicide, reinventions in pop culture, seersucker suits, live anthrax spores, NHL game seven, a new poll about Republican presidential candidates, chimpanzees and lawyers, and much more!

117,000,000

The drinking water of 117 million Americans will reportedly be better protected by new federal rules that were released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

According to the Associated Press the release of the new rules were not welcome to many Republicans and several agricultural groups. Those Republicans included Montana’s junior U.S. Senator Steve Daines and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke. You can read their statements HERE and HERE.

As for the EPA, they contend the rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined, more predictably determined, and easier for businesses and industry to understand. You read more from the EPA by clicking HERE.

There are probably several people commenting and sending press releases against/for the new rules who have not even the read them.

I like clean water…

317,000

Local television station KRTV reported the U.S. Air Force has launched an effort to increase the number of active-duty airmen to 317,000 by 2017. As of March 31, 2015, there are 307,377 active-duty members in the Air Force.

For some reason the reporter interviewed the Montana Defense Alliance chair about the increase, instead of someone actually from the Air Force…

282,000

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

215,000

That’s how many complaints the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received about unwanted calls and texts in 2014, making it the top consumer complaint to the agency. National Journal reports that the FCC plans to take steps to combat robocalls and spam text messages next month. (Source)

The National Do Not Call Registry has been a joke. Here are the problems with the National Do Not Call Registry:

The Registry does not apply to political calls or calls from non-profits and charities (but the Registry does cover telemarketers calling on behalf of charities). Also, calls from legitimate “survey” organizations are not covered because they are not offering to sell anything to consumers. Finally, calls are permitted from companies with which you have done or sought to do business. Specifically, a company can call you up to 18 months after you last did business with it.

100,000

More than 100,000 taxpayers had their personal information compromised by hackers through the Internal Revenue Service website. (Source)

15,000

The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell MT) reported that Dan Calvert Wallen who illegally killed three grizzly bears last year was sentenced to three years probation, including 60 days in a pre-release center, and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution on Tuesday. Wallen intends to appeal.

199

That’s the cost to attend the 2015 Montana Republican State Convention June 26-27 in Helena. The $199 is the pre-registration price and will increase after June 11. (Source)

They should move the tables and chairs to the corner of the room to allow plenty of space for the wrestling matches between the far-righties and the moderates…

100

Leo and Ruth Zanger of Quincy have 53 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. The birth of great-grandson Jaxton Leo on April 8 brought the number to 100. (Source)

Wowser…

68

Gallup polling reports nearly seven in 10 Americans (68%) say doctors should be legally allowed to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide, up 10 percentage points from last year.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car…

25

From Rolling Stone – here are the 25 Most Incredible Reinventions in Pop Culture History.

11

Mark your calendars, “Seersucker Thursday” in the U.S. Senate will be held June 11. (Source)

It will be exciting to see U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines posing for photos in their seersucker suits and talking about really important stuff.

Note to my readers: I apologize for wasting your valuable time with worthless information about seersucker suits…

10

The Associated Press reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it is investigating what the Pentagon called an inadvertent shipment of live anthrax spores to government and commercial laboratories in as many as nine states, as well as one overseas, that expected to receive dead spores.

Let’s look at the bright side: At least they did not ship six cruise missiles with nuclear warheads…and nobody cheated on any tests…

7

There’s nothing better in sports than a game seven. The National Hockey League (NHL) conference championships will both be decided in seven games. Friday night, Tampa Bay will play the New York Rangers and Saturday night Chicago will play Anaheim.

The winners will play in the Stanley Cup Final – which I hope goes to a seventh game.

The NHL playoffs have been exciting while the NBA playoffs have been pretty boring this postseason.

5

In Presidential politics, USA Today reported that a new Quinnipiac University poll of Republican voters shows a five-way tie for first — each with only 10% support. The top five: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.

The big winner is undecideds with 20%.

It looks like the GOP Presidential candidates will once again form a circular firing squad to decide their nominee.

4.0

That’s Montana’s unemployment rate for April 2015 according to a press release from Governor Steve Bullock on Wednesday. Daniels and Sheridan counties have the lowest unemployment rate of 2.0 percent, while Lincoln County comes in last at 10.3 percent.

These rates are for people who actually care to be counted as unemployed.

2

The Associated Press (AP) reported that lawyers for two chimpanzees are heading to court to argue that the animals have “personhood” rights and should be freed from the Long Island University where they are kept. The AP added that the chimps are not expected in court. (Source)

The court should allow the chimpanzees to represent themselves. I know several attorneys they would outperform…

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