Thursday Numbers

There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud. – Carl Sandburg

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 the Yellowstone River, Twitter & the NFL, Montana Governor TV ads, unemployment, the bar exam in Montana, cell phone violations, Steve Bullock is popular, trust in political leaders, liquor licenses, and much more!


That’s how much ($12 million) Exxon Mobil agreed to pay to settle damage claims over a 2011 oil pipeline break in the Yellowstone River. (AP)

Pipelines break…


That’s how many people watched last week’s Thursday Night NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets on Twitter. (USA Today)

Is this a great country or what?


According to an email from the Steve Bullock for Montana Governor Campaign, his opponent, Greg Gianforte, bought another $329,000 in TV ads for next week. They also say that brings his total television spending to $3.6 million.

Great googly moogly…


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


That’s the score you now need to pass the bar exam in Montana (out of 400). (GF Tribune)

They lowered it because it was too difficult for some. If my math is correct 266/400 is like getting a “D” in most subjects.You can leave your best lawyer joke in the comment section. Here’s one: “It was so cold today I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.”


Apparently the City of Great Falls has found that issuing cell phone violation tickets is a gold mine, so they are contemplating increasing the fine for the second offense (within 24 months) to not less than $200 and not more than $500; forfeit license plates within 48 hours of conviction, for 90 days; or 20 hours of community service within 90 days. (GF Tribune)

It would be nice to see city officials dedicate this much time to combat drunk driving…


That’s the approval rating of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, which makes him the nation’s fourth most popular governor. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

Can he turn his popularity into a win in November?


That’s the percentage of American people who trust their political leaders. (Gallup)

Pro-Tip: Other than the part in the commercial where the candidate says, “I’m XX candidate, and I approved this message” most of the remaining part of the commercial is probably a lie.


The Montana Department of Revenue will hold a public lottery for 14 available liquor licenses after receiving more than 1,000 applications to operate alcohol establishments in nine communities throughout the state. (

It’s too bad Montana does not allow all stores to sell liquor (that want to)…


Montana has the distinction of ranking No. 2 in the nation for auto versus deer, elk or moose collisions, according to a report by State Farm insurance company based on the number of claims filed. (MT Standard)

Let’s be careful out there…

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