Thursday Numbers

Living well is the best revenge. – George Herbert

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 Bernie Sanders & fundraising, Montana regulators & NorthWestern Energy, unemployment, delegates, Al Gore, President Obama & commuted prison sentences, history’s greatest images, drunk driving, the net favorable ratings of Presidential candidates, plus much more!


That’s how much ($39 million) Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has raised so far in March.(Politico)

Sanders has energized young people during this presidential election season and that is good.


Montana regulators on Tuesday ordered NorthWestern Energy to refund customers $8.24 million that the state’s largest power company charged when it had to buy electricity on the open market following a 2013 outage of the Colstrip coal plant. (AP)

Thanks to Commissioners Travis Kavulla, Brad Johnson, and Roger Koopman for their votes to help consumers. Commissioners Kirk Bushman and Bob Lake voted with NorthWestern and against consumers. Bushman and Lake should look for another line of work.

Maybe NorthWestern can make up some of the $8.24 million by cutting back on the number of recipes they send with their bills each month.


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


Republicans likely won’t know whether Donald Trump will reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination outright until the final primary contests conclude on June 7. (The Hill)

Montana’s primary is June 7. 


This is the 240th “Thursday Numbers” column here at The Western Word!

Thanks for reading!


Former Vice President Al Gore is 68 years old today.


President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentences of 61 drug offenders on Wednesday including more than a third serving life sentences, working to give new energy to calls for overhauling the U.S. criminal justice system. (AP)

You can compare the Presidents on how many Pardons/Commutations they have given by clicking HERE.


Check out “History’s Greatest Images: 30 Photos That Will Stop You In Your Tracks” HERE.

Be sure to see the one about the Montana grasshopper (It’s toward the end)!


Christopher Dennis Shelton has been charged with his seventh DUI after he allegedly drove the wrong way on a one-way street in Great Falls. (MTN)

It still amazes me that someone with six DUI convictions can be free to roam our streets and highways.


That’s the net favorable rating (negative 16) of GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz. (Gallup)

Gallup also reported Hillary Clinton’s image has slipped marginally in the past two months (-11) while Bernie Sanders’ (+10) and John Kasich’s (+19) ratings have improved. Kasich now has the most positive net favorable rating of any of these five candidates.


That’s the net favorable rating (negative 35) of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Gallup)

Gallup also reported Hillary Clinton’s image has slipped marginally in the past two months (-11) while Bernie Sanders’ (+10) and John Kasich’s (+19) ratings have improved. Kasich now has the most positive net favorable rating of any of these five candidates.


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  1. Great column as usual. I agree our DUI laws are lax but we don’t want to be as strict as Colorado. One of my high school classmates committed suicide after his 4th DUI in Denver rather than spend years in prison.

    • Bob – Thanks. I am sorry to hear about your friend.

      I do like the idea of ignition interlocks for second and subsequent DUI convictions. I think that may help cut down on drinking and driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports them. MADD gives Montana one star for their work to curtail drunk driving – the lowest rating. MADD gives Colorado five stars – the highest rating.


      • Totally agree with you! In PSC news, has Koopman seen the light after getting Pat Noonan as a very strong opponent?

      • Bob – I’ve seen politicians “see the light” when election season rolls around – so yes that could be it! The Public Service Commissioner #3 race will be interesting. There’s a chance that an Independent candidate (Caron Cooper) will jump through all the silly freaking hoops and make the ballot in that race. That could harm either Koopman or Noonan depending on how much Cooper campaigns and which way she leans. She has a nice website:

        I like it when Independent candidates shake things up! The Montana Legislature should make it easier for them to run.


      • Unfortunately, drinking and driving is condoned. In 2012, Park County voters rewarded a candidate arrested for DUI during his campaign by electing him county commissioner.

      • Thanks! Another reason not to vote for him. I wasn’t back living in the county in 2012. Our county commissioners are the only ones in the state to have 4 yr and not 6 yr terms- the 1985 local govt review changed it, more Park County quirkiness.

      • Cooper initially filed as a Democrat but jumped ship after Noonan filed. Cooper caught some slack from this Twitter handle:

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