Thursday Numbers

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. – Eric Hoffer

Today is the last day of school for Great Falls Public Schools! Have a great summer!

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 sarcasm.

This week’s topics include unemployment, an eavesdropping satellite, Steve Bullock, Montana voter turnout, satisfaction levels, Bristol Palin & Dakota Meyer, Greg Gianforte, Terry Nelson, Yellowstone National Park, Cascade County elections, school attendance, Kansas City Royals, potential recount, Ryan Zinke & Denise Juneau, Maria Sharapova, and much more!


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


That’s the weight (15,000 pounds) of a “large eavesdropping satellite” that will be launched from Cape Canaveral this afternoon. (USA Today)

The truth is out there…


Incumbent Montana Governor Steve Bullock won the Democratic Party’s nomination with 109,567 votes or 91 percent of the vote. (Lee Newspapers)


Congrats to Liberty County (MT) residents! They had a voter turnout of 64.64% which, if my research is correct, was the highest in the state. (MT SoS)


That was Montana’s voter turnout (44.7%) for Tuesday’s primary election. (GF Tribune)


That’s Roosevelt County’s (MT) voter turnout rate – which I believe was the lowest turnout rate for counties in the state. (MT SoS)


Gallup reports that nearly three in 10 Americans (29%) are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., continuing the trend of low satisfaction levels since 2007. Americans’ satisfaction has averaged 24% across the 89 months of the Obama administration to date, well below the average 37% satisfaction level since Gallup began measuring it in 1979.


Bristol Palin, the 25-year-old daughter of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, married Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer this week.(USA Today)

Here at The Western Word, we send our best wishes…


Terry Nelson and his running mate Niki Sardot received 23 percent of the vote in the Republican primary for Montana governor while spending no money on their campaign. Greg Gianforte, a Bozeman businessman, won his party’s nomination for governor with 110,079 votes, or 76 percent. (Lee Newspapers)

Montana State University political science professor David Parker examines the Nelson/Gianforte votes HERE.


At least 22 people are known to have died from hot-spring injuries in or near Yellowstone National Park since 1890. (AP)


The government is out with discouraging new figures on how many students are habitually missing school, and an Associated Press analysis finds the problem is particularly acute in the nation’s capital, where nearly one-third of students were absent 15 days or more in a single school year. (AP)

Maybe they are following the example set by members of Congress who work very few days?


That was the time (11:45 p.m.) Tuesday night when the Cascade County elections department posted the first results from Montana’s Primary Election. (GF Tribune)

Maybe Cascade County Clerk and Recorder Rina Fontana Moore was waiting on a call from Brian Schweitzer. He’s bragged about calling election officials on election night before…


The World Series champion Kansas City Royals have lost seven games in a row. (


Of all the primary races in Montana, one is flagged for a potential recount on the Secretary of State’s website. It’s the Chouteau County Commission #2 race. There were 1,225 votes cast with Republican Clay Riehl leading Dean Rominger by five votes (440-435). Jim Olsen received 350 votes.

Your vote does count!


Republican U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke called for his two challengers, Democrat Denise Juneau & Libertarian Mike Fellows, to accept a series of five debates, including two in Indian Country, which span TV, print, and radio mediums.

Earlier, Juneau called for six debates, with one on an Indian reservation. (Lee Newspapers)


Tennis star Maria Sharapova was suspended Wednesday for two years for failing a drug test. (AP)

Just say no to drugs…


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6 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. On Juneau: this election is win win for Juneau. If by some long shot miracle she wins the election (snort), she’s a Congressperson. If she loses she’s in running for that most Montanan of all posts for failed Democrat women politicians, executive director of NARAL.

    Since the Great Falls Tribune’s online site can’t seem to work for me 2 days in a row, I thought I would drop by here to share this tidbit. It relates to your latest op-ed:
    Jackie, it sure would be nice if someone local with conservative credentials (scratches head) could voice this type of opinion about the opposition rather than his own party’s nominee.

    • Bill – Thank you.That’s an interesting thought about Juneau. Maybe you already know this but the GF Tribune has a couple of local people writing columns from the conservative and liberal angles. -JmB

  2. 5 debates, huh? What a loser.

    You should be ready to debate every second of every day. You should want it.

    If you don’t you have no business being in politics.

    • Greg – Thanks. I don’t think having a lot of debates is that important these days. I’d like to see one or two televised debates with only a moderator and the two candidates in a room going back and forth answering questions for two hours. No audience. With technology these days, almost everyone could view it at some point in the campaign season. Campaigns these days use how many debates they want to do as a tactic.

      In regard to a Zinke/Juneau debate, they do have “day” jobs that they are getting paid to do, so I don’t think they need to do 5 or 6 or 10 debates.


      • I won’t buy that excuse. Juneau will lose because she is not hungry, she does not want it.

        She could comment here, on newspapers, on TV posts and other blogs. She could do social media more, use her own blog, write letters to every paper every month.

        She could go to state fairs and drive around in an RV and talk to people at gas stations.

        But she does not.

        She gives up all those opportunities to debate, to get her message out, to get the message out that unless you’re rich and white and a man, Ryan Zinke will not help you at all.

        And that’s why she’ll lose. The primary numbers only affirm that.

      • Greg – She does face an uphill battle against an incumbent, but she has had some success winning a couple of state-wide races. So far this campaign season is kind of in the preliminary stage. There will be events like rodeos, fairs, parades to attend over the summer. Then the final push begins on September 1. -JmB

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