Thursday Numbers

Turn me loose, set me free
Somewhere in the middle of Montana
And give me all I’ve got coming to me
And keep your retirement and your
So called Social Security
Big city turn me loose and set me free
– “Big City” by Merle Haggard (April 6, 1937-April 6, 2016)

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 the Panama Papers, PayPal, a bull, unemployment, Feel the Bern in Montana, Cascade County Republicans & Jesse O’Hara, Great Falls Rescue Mission, NCAA men’s basketball championship, American Idol, Golden State Warriors, UConn women, three wheels, and much more!


The Panama Papers are 11.5 million documents — or 2.6 terabytes of data — provided by an unnamed source to a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, more than one year ago. They were taken from the files of Mossack Fonseca, described as the fourth-largest offshore law firm in the world. They linked 143 politicians, their families and close associates — including 12 highly placed political leaders — to the use of tax havens to shield vast wealth. (NY Times)

People who grew up in the 1960s and 70s are probably thinking the “Panama Papers” are rolling papers for some really good pot from Panama…


The Associated Press reported that PayPal scuttled its $3.6 million plan for the North Carolina center because of a new state law that that restricts protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The company said its decision reflected its belief that all people should be treated equally.

All people should be treated equally. Applause to U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock for inviting PayPal to consider Montana.


A bull named “HA Cowboy Up” sold for $350,000 on Tuesday at the Hinman Angus annual bull sale in Malta, Montana. (MTN)

Did you know that the most important use for cowhide is to hold the cow together?


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


The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign spent $20,288 for 41 one-minute spots and 103 30-second spots from Billings’ CBS-affiliate KTVQ and NBC-affiliate KULR between April 1 and April 9, according to Federal Communication Commission records.

Feel the Bern…


Former Montana GOP lawmaker Jesse O’Hara’s has filed a 63-page complaint against the Cascade County Republican Central Committee, saying it violated state laws. (GF Tribune)

Some of the more extreme members of the Cascade County Republican Central Committee do whatever their Rice Krispies tell them to do…


The Great Falls Rescue Mission is preparing to celebrate 53 years of serving North Central Montana’s hungry, hurting, and homeless with its annual Celebration Banquet. (KFBB)

The Great Falls Rescue Mission is a wonderful organization.


For the second year in a row, the NCAA Championship television ratings broke records–just not in a good way. Unfortunately for all parties, 2016 was the least-watched men’s basketball title game in at least 18 years. (CBS)

The game was on cable channel TBS, which did not help with the ratings.


The last “American Idol” will be named tonight as the show ends after 15 seasons. (AP)


The NBA’s Golden State Warriors (69-9) have a 14% chance of setting the new record for wins in the NBA regular season with 73. (ESPN) The old record is 72 by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors’ final four games include two against the San Antonio Spurs, the team with the second-best record in the NBA.


UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma passed UCLA’s John Wooden with his 11th national title Tuesday night. (AP)

Auriemma is one of the best coaches ever.


The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team won its 4th straight national championship Tuesday night. (ESPN) Historical.

It’s a dynasty.


Billings Law enforcement got into a low-speed pursuit Tuesday night after a woman was seen driving her car on three wheels. (Billings Gazette)

There’s something funny about that last sentence…


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