Thursday Numbers

Welcome to the 200th edition of “Thursday Numbers!”

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 tourism in Montana, unemployment, ISIS on Twitter, Zinke & PTSD, cholesterol-fighting drug, Noah, new troops in Iraq, highest-paid athletes, terror attacks, civil liberties, Clinton’s emails, Obamacare, and much more!

3,900,000,000

As reported in the Flathead Beacon, the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana estimates 10.9 million nonresident travelers spent $3.9 billion in Montana in 2014. (Source)

Ya ‘all came back now, ya ‘hear…

279,000

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

90,000

CBS News reports that the ISIS’ online army posts videos and messages from around 90,000 Twitter accounts. A U.S. State Department staff of about 50 competes against the ISIS online army. (Source)

Maybe the state department should hire more people to monitor Twitter – call me! 

15,000

That’s about how many Montana veterans have or are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Congressman Ryan Zinke spoke about PTSD from the U.S. House floor on Wednesday. (Source)

We must take care of veterans…

12,000

CNN reported that a new cholesterol-fighting drug was recommended for approval by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee and it’s more potent and will carry fewer side effects than statins, which are among the most prescribed drugs in the United States.

CNN also reported that if approved it is estimated the new drug would cost between $7,000 and $12,000 a year per patient.

Ouch.

950

Although there’s been a lot of chatter on the internet here in Montana about Noah (from the Bible) being 600 years old, he actually lived to the very ripe old age of 950. (Source)

450

That’s how many new troops will be deployed to Iraq for advising and training local forces. There are already around 3,100 troops in Iraq. (Source)

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) issued the following statement about the deployment:

America possesses the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, but we can’t put the Middle East back together by ourselves. Committing more American lives and billions of dollars to Iraq while failing to take care of veterans when they return from war threatens the America that our kids and grandkids will inherit.

200

What started out in June 2011 as a column about the weekly unemployment numbers quickly turned into a column about numbers from just about anything imaginable. This is the 200th “Thursday Numbers” column. “Caught My Eye” and “Thursday Numbers” are the two most-read columns here at The Western Word. Thank you!

That first “Thursday Numbers” column showed 427,000 people had filed new claims for unemployment. Today that number is 279,000.

100

With a $300 million year, boxer Floyd Mayweather once again tops the Forbes’ 2015 List of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes. See the full list from Forbes HERE.

67

A new poll from Gallup found that 67% have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to protect citizens from terror attacks. This is the lowest level of confidence that Gallup has measured since it first asked the question after the 9/11 terror attacks. (Source)

Some people are probably concerned that politics will get in the way of security…

65

According to Gallup polling, sixty-five percent of Americans say the government should take steps to prevent terrorism but not violate civil liberties, while 30% think any steps to prevent terrorism are justified, even if they violate liberties. (Source)

12

National Journal reports that 12 State Department employees are working full-time to vet thousands of Hillary Clinton’s email messages and this process could cost more than $1 million.

They probably won’t find the smoking gun…

4

According to several experts watching/waiting for the decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the Obamacare case (King v. Burwell) the four words “established by the state” will be the key to the case.

Yahoo! Finance reports that King argues that those four little words make it illegal to offer tax credits to anyone who is enrolled in Obamacare through Healthcare.gov — the marketplace established not by states but by the federal government. (Source)

I hope if it comes to Obamacare being derailed, that both sides of the aisle roll up their sleeves to find a solution and put politics aside, but that would require elected officials to act like statesmen…

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