Thursday Numbers

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. – Dave Barry

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this 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 just a little bit of sarcasm.

This week’s topics include VA bonuses, oil business money, unemployment, Medicaid expansion, oldest living WWII female veteran, veterans in Congress, The Western Word poll results, Tester’s VA bills & Report, University of Missouri, Congressional job approval, Capitol Hill staffers, undefeated teams in the NFL and the NBA.

142,000,000

USA Today reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs doled out more than $142 million in bonuses to executives and employees for performance in 2014 even as scandals over veterans’ health care and other issues racked the agency.

In-freaking-credible.

You can find out who received bonuses in your state by clicking HERE.

9,500,000

Someone named Sabir Ali (sabirali_112@hotmail.com) sent me an email with the following “important” information:

I have $9.5 Million US dollars that I successfully moved out of the country. I need a good partner someone I can trust. It is oil business money we did with the Iraq government worth of 46 million US dollars, but the $9.5 million us dollars stated is my share on the business and it’s legal. I have successfully moved the funds out of Iraq.

Once the funds get to you, you take your 35% out and keep my own 65% for me. As soon as I hear from you, I will furnish you with more details on how to proceed for the transfer of the funds.

I think Sabir might be pulling my leg…

276,000

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

5,500

According to a story by the Associated Press, that’s how many Montanans have signed up for Medicaid in the first week of expanded eligibility to the working poor.

This is very good news.

108

That’s the age of the oldest living WWII female veteran, Luta Mae McGrath. She attended the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and she was honored by President Obama at the event. (Source)

101

There are 101 veterans in Congress, which amounts to just less than 25 percent of lawmakers according to Roll Call.

That’s the reason nothing much gets done.

57

According to a poll this week here at The Western Word, 57% think Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. The poll question was: Who do you think will be the next President? It was not asking who you prefer.

Marco Rubio came in a distant second with 20%. Thanks to all those who participated.

37

According to a press release from U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), he has sponsored 37 bills in Congress this year on behalf of veterans.

Ok, you have sponsored 37 bills dealing with veterans. Now what?

26

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) released his 26 page “State of Veterans in Montana Report” yesterday to provide transparency and push for accountability in the VA.

I hope it works – but I have my doubts that a “Report” will do much good. It did help Tester get some publicity, like on the front page of the Great Falls Tribune, so he accomplished that.

One of the main problems with the VA is it is a good ol boy/girl place that does not hire the best and brightest people to serve veterans.

19

The Washington Post is reporting that a 19-year-old white male was arrested Wednesday by University of Missouri police for posting threats to the racially roiled campus on social media.

Many people are commenting about the issue at the University of Missouri. Some comments on Twitter and Facebook were so asinine that it reminded me of this Mark Twain quote:

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

11

That’s the newest job approval rating of Congress (11%) – the worst so far this year according to Gallup.

During the same time, the President had a 49% approval rating. (Source)

3

According to an article from Roll Call, less than 3 percent of Capitol Hill staffers are veterans.

That explains why the place is so dysfunctional.

3

There are three undefeated teams in the NFL – the Patriots, Panthers, and Bengals.(Source)

1

There’s only one undefeated team in the NBA – the Golden State Warriors. They are 9-0. (Source)

 

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One thought on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Why didn’t I see that $142 million in bonuses in the veterans report that Tester put out?

    I did see that he increased per diem mileage by about 30 cents.

    Let’s discuss the effectiveness of Tester on this issue. You’re right that he’s put out a lot of bills, but what has that accomplished?

    I really have to give him credit, however. It takes courage to put out a report that pretty much shows that things have not substantially improved since June of 2014 for VA wait times. Back then KGVO in Missoula reported the wait times were 47 days. Kalispell specialized wait times are 40 days today.

    For years now Congress has known about this issue but the issue does not improve, or at least hardly improves.

    That’s failure, and for one that touts himself as someone that helps veterans, it’s a huge red mark of failure.

    I can see why James Conner had the “will Tester run in 2018?” talk a week ago. Tester is incapable of overcoming the ineffectiveness of Congress to get anything meaningful done. He knows this, is frustrated by it.

    Congress is bought and paid for. It’s doing exactly as it should for those footing the bill, which are the large donors. They want a backed-up VA and medical system. It profits their insurance companies. The feds benefit by having a waiting line so long that many die or kill themselves before the feds have to add the cost of their care onto our $18 trillion national debt.

    We have a mess on our hands, it’s causing the country to become lopsided, we’re beginning to tilt and a capsize looks likely. When that happens, all the leaders on deck will be washed away and those below can rise up to see to the mess.

    It’s called progress.

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