Thursday Numbers

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

Welcome to the “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 federal budget deficit, Oprah Winfrey & Weight Watchers, Zinke & Juneau fundraising, Montana Republican Party’s Winter Kick-Off, Trump & Fox News, Space Shuttle Challenger, Tester & Veterans, Best Super Bowl announcing teams, Montana Democrats & Greg Gianforte, unemployment, and much more!


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the federal budget deficit in 2016 will be $544 billion, raising debt held by the public to 76 percent of GDP. In 2016, the federal budget deficit will increase, in relation to the size of the economy, for the first time since 2009, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates. (CBO)

I should have paid closer attention in math class…


Oprah Winfrey lost 26 pounds on the Weight Watchers diet. She is also a board member and large share owner. According to CNBC, Winfrey has made a fortune since her October investment. Using a price of $13 a share from Tuesday afternoon, that means she’s made $61 million on her total investment. On a per-pound basis, that’s $2.36 million of profits gained for each pound lost. (CNBC)

I’ve lost more weight than Oprah recently, but, unfortunately, I did not make $2.36 million per pound. Maybe she will read this and send some cash my way…


The Great Falls Tribune is reporting this morning that Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., raised $577,000 in the fourth quarter and ended the year with $744,000 in the bank for his re-election bid against Democratic challenger Denise Juneau, according to his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report. Donations to his campaign included $52,000 from political action committees, the filing showed.

The Tribune also reported that Juneau raised $262,000 and had $240,000 remaining at year-end, according to her FEC disclosure. PAC donations totaled $45,700.

The Montana Cowgirl blog posted an interesting column about Zinke’s campaign spending that can be read HERE.


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


You are reading the 231st “Thursday Numbers” column, which is one of my most-read columns each week.

Thank you!


That’s how much an “All-Access Pass” to the Montana Republican Party’s Winter Kick-Off will cost you. The event will be held in Bozeman on February 5-6, 2016 at the Holiday Inn. (Source)

There are several interesting workshops planned like, “Lay of the Land” which is an in-depth look at the current mood of the Montana electorate and analyzing the most recent Montana specific polling data.

I think they need workshops on campaign finance reporting, third-party groups, and how to deal with moderate voters…


The Gateway Pundit reports that FOX News host Greta Van Susteren asked her conservative viewers if they will tune into Thursday’s GOP debate now that Donald Trump has announced he will not participate. An astonishing 83% said NO, they would not be watching. This morning that number is now 87%.

I will be watching the other cable news channels to see what Trump is up to! Trump is beating Fox News and the Republican Party…


Today (Jan. 28) marks 30 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. (AP)

I remember that day very well. I was stationed at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.


U.S. Senator Jon Tester is sending his staff to 28 rural Montana communities to hear directly from veterans about the issues they are experiencing with the Veterans’ Choice Program. More information about the outreach can be found HERE.

It’s always good for congressional field staffers to visit rural communities and gather input from constituents about the issues. They should be doing this monthly.

Hearing directly from veterans on what is and what is not working is always a good idea. The big test is what Tester does, as a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affair, to correct the problems.


In honor of the 50th Super Bowl, For The Win (FTW) from USA Today, ranked all 21 announcing teams who’ve ever had the honor of calling the big game. (USA Today)

In my opinion, I like Pat Summerall and John Madden and I think Dick Enberg and Merlin Olson were pretty good, too. Al Michaels and Cris Collingsworth are the best announcing team today. Al Michaels showed up on several different announcing teams.


According to the Montana Democrats, in just 7 days, Greg Gianforte has ducked reporters’ questions an eye opening 14 times.

Get the popcorn – this is going to be fun to watch!

Will the Montana Republican Party show up in 2016 to help their candidates?


That’s Montana’s unemployment rate (4%) for December. (AP)

This is pretty good.

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  1. I’d rather hear fingernails on a chalkboard than Chris Collinsworth. He needs to learn that sometimes the less said the better.

    • I feel about the same way about Joe Buck, Jim Nantz, and Phil Simms.

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