Thursday Numbers

You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend
When I was down you just stood there grinnin’
-Bob Dylan

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 Wells Fargo, Bullock & settlements, unemployment, Montana Supreme Court election, National Hockey League, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Montana Cowgirl, Election Day 2016, Congressional job approval, Jon Tester, Steve Daines, Ryan Zinke, drunk driving, and much more!


That’s how much ($134 million) John Stumpf, the embattled CEO of Wells Fargo, will receive in his retirement package. Wells Fargo employees were accused of creating close to 2 million accounts without the knowledge of customers. (USA Today)

It probably makes the grilling and going through the grandstanding from senators, including Montana’s senior Senator Jon Tester, and representatives in congress worth it.


The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s administration has paid more than $900,000 in settlements to state employees over the last three years, according to public records. On most, state agencies won’t say why.

Great googly moogly…


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


In a Montana Supreme Court election forum held in Missoula, Justice Jim Shea opened the forum by calling for increased public interest in judicial elections. He noted that in 2014 when two seats were contested, 40,000 Montanans who cast a ballot “just skipped the Supreme Court races.” (Missoulian)

It might be a good time to say that Shea is running unopposed in this election.

You don’t have to vote for every race on your ballot, that’s a fact. I don’t like judges running for office. I don’t think judges should prostitute themselves out like politicians do, so I have often left those races blank. For example, I don’t care for Montana Chief Justice Mike McGrath, and I can proudly say I have never voted for him in any race – and will continue that trend in 2016.


Wednesday night was opening night in the National Hockey League (NHL) and the 100th anniversary of its founding. (LA Times)

I enjoy the playoffs in the NHL but seldom watch much hockey otherwise.


Gallup Polling reported Hillary Clinton over the past five days has seen her favorable rating rise from 81% to 84% among Democrats, but take a slightly negative turn among independents, from 35% to 32%. Clinton has been the focus of news events, including WikiLeaks-released transcripts of emails involving Clinton, her campaign strategy and Wall Street speeches.

It looks like voters detest Trump’s treatment of women more than they do Clinton’s emails.


Gallup Polling reported that Donald Trump’s favorable rating among Republicans dropped from 69% to 64% in the fallout after The Washington Post released a 2005 video in which he made lewd comments about women, and after the second presidential debate on Sunday night.

Maybe it was because he started attacking fellow Republicans for coming out against him for his lewd remarks about women.


The Montana Cowgirl blog reported that Montana Supreme Court candidate Kristen Juras donated $50 to a group called SafeMontana which is opposed to Medical Marijuana Initiative I-182. The Great Falls Tribune also reported the story…after Cowgirl.

I support I-182.

Of course, the people who are against Juras being on the Montana Supreme Court are coming out and saying this is wrong for her to donate to this group since she may have cases come before her on this issue. In my opinion, it was not a smart thing for Juras to do. But it’s also my opinion that judges (and people running for seats on a court) raise many issues since they are politicians. For example, should the lawyers who donated to a judge’s campaign be prohibited from arguing a case in his/her court because of that donation? I think so.

One thing for sure I have noticed in the Juras/Dirk Sandefur race for the Montana Supreme Court: the good ol’ boy network is alive and well in Montana.


That’s how many days there are until Election Day 2016!

Are you registered to vote? Get information on how to register in Montana HERE. Other states click HERE.


Gallup reported that with less than a month to go before the U.S. congressional elections, 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. This rating has been low for some time, and has not cracked 25% since 2009.

I’d like to congratulate my members of Congress from Montana for sucking so much at their jobs. They are Democrat Senator Jon Tester, Republican Senator Steve Daines, and Republican Representative Ryan Zinke.

That’s the good thing about being an independent blogger – you can say members of congress from both political parties suck in one sentence…


The Missoulian newspaper reported that an Alberton (MT) man arrested Friday and charged with what would be his eighth DUI allegedly put a pig’s ear and a piece of buckskin between his leg and an alcohol monitoring bracelet to avoid detection.

Making Montana proud – Someone with seven DUIs should not be free to roam our streets.

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  1. I’m guessing, based upon your post, that you feel that the support Judge Sandefur has received from various retired Justices/Judges/etc is indicative of the “good ol’ boy” network in action. I would posit that they are supporting him as he is the clear choice for Montana.

    I’ve worked with Judge Sandefur and find him to be an honest, hard-working, ethical jurist. I have no personal experience with Ms. Juras but her history and actions are quite disconcerting.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Rick – Thanks for your comments. I just find running a political campaign to be elected as a judge distasteful. I am undecided on this race – I may leave it blank. I like Sandefur. He had the balls to meet with me one on one for about 90 minutes to discuss a case he presided over which I had written about. He explained his reasoning for the sentence and I explained my reasoning for not liking soft sentences for drunk driving. I wrote about the meeting here:

      Here was the original column that he met with me about:

      I think if I were an attorney I would feel I would have to donate to a judge so he would have a favorable view of me. I’ve lived in several states and there are good ol’ boy networks in every one. Looking at Sandefur’s supporters, I believe it is alive and well in Montana.

      Thanks again,


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