Thursday Numbers

Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude. – Ralph Marston

Happy National Coffee Day!

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 Donald Trump’s net worth, Montana’s budget surplus, debate viewers, unemployment, false statements, Montana’s lottery for liquor licenses, Congress & the spending bill, medical marijuana initiative I-182, Kansas City Royals, the override of President Obama’s veto, and much more!


That’s the estimated net worth ($3.7 billion) of Donald Trump according to Forbes magazine – $800 million less than a year ago. (Forbes)

Trump should release his tax returns.People believe he is hiding something…


The state of Montana’s budget surplus is projected to shrink to $109 million by next year, according to a new legislative report, which says state tax revenues continue to fall short of expectations. (MTN News)

That information should make for some interesting talk in the Governor’s race, not to mention legislative races, in the remaining days of the 2016 campaign season.


An estimated 84 million people tuned in to watch the first debate of the 2016 presidential election on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (Nielsen)

CNN reports that Nielsen’s 84 million total counts people who watched via traditional TV channels at home. People who watched the debate at parties, bars, restaurants, and offices were not counted. Neither were C-SPAN viewers. This means the actual total audience is even higher.

I watched the debate on C-SPAN because I am cool…


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


This is the 265th edition of “Thursday Numbers!” The first column was posted in June 2011.

I started “Thursday Numbers” to show how many new claims for unemployment were being filed. That first week, the new claims for unemployment came in at 427,000. As you see above, last week there were 254,000 new claims for unemployment.


In case you missed this from Wednesday’s column, fact checkers were kept busy during Monday night’s presidential debate. CBS News and other organizations found that 80 percent of the false statements belonged to Donald Trump. (CBS News)

Trump was interrupted more by the moderator because he had a hard time telling the truth and answering questions…


The Montana Department of Revenue announced the winners of the public lottery to apply for the 14 available liquor licenses to operate alcohol establishments in nine communities throughout the state. Click HERE to see the winners.

Now comes the hard part – paying for the license. The Montana liquor license system is ancient. The Montana legislature could bring Montana into this century and change the way liquor licenses are awarded, but most are afraid of the lobbyists.


Congress passed a 10-week spending bill this week to keep the government operating through December 9. (Roll Call)

It’s been years since they have actually done their jobs.


That’s how many states will be voting soon to expand legal access to marijuana. The Associated Press reports that Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

I urge fellow Montanans to vote “YES” on medical marijuana initiative I-182. More information about I-182 can be found HERE.


With four games left in the 2016 MLB season, the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals were eliminated from making this season’s playoffs. (

It was a great run the last couple of years.


Congress voted Wednesday to override President Obama for the first time in his eight-year tenure. They rejected a veto of legislation allowing families of terrorist victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The Senate voted to override the President’s veto 97-1 and the House voted to override the veto 348-77. (Roll Call)

About the only time members of Congress agree this much is when they vote for adjournment to go on recess…


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