Thursday Numbers

Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. – John Kenneth Galbraith

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 fundraising, unemployment, pumpkins, Planned Parenthood, law enforcement officers, marijuana, Montana state auditor poll, Veterans Affairs, Social Security, and much more!


That’s how much ($19 million) the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised in the month of September. U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana is the chairman of the DSCC. (Roll Call)

I think the boys and girls at the DSCC and the DCCC, combined with their Republican counterparts, sent me about 19 million emails last month.


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


That’s how many pumpkins a business named Torgerson’s donated to Great Falls first graders this week. (KRTV)

The great pumpkin giveaway…applause to Torgerson’s. 


Planned Parenthood turned 100 years old on October 16. (Press Release)

Unlike some of my conservative friends, I understand and commend Planned Parenthood for providing valuable health care services.Congratulations on 100 years. 


That’s how many American law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2015, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report released this week. (FBI)

I pray for their family and friends.


Sixty percent of Americans favor making marijuana use legal, the highest level of support in Gallup’s 47-year trend. (Gallup)

It should be legal nationwide for people 21 and older.


Meanwhile, in Montana, the Highway Patrol busted a guy who had almost 50 pounds of marijuana in his car. (Billings Gazette)

I feel safer already…


In the race to be Montana’s next state auditor, Republican Matt Rosendale, a state senator from Glendive, is leading Democrat Jesse Laslovich, chief legal counsel in the office he’s running for, by 10 percentage points. Rosendale is supported by 43 percent of those polled; Laslovich by 33 percent. The poll found that 24 percent of people surveyed were still unsure how they will cast their ballots. (Lee Newspapers)

I’m surprised there are that many people who actually like Matt Rosendale…


Although Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has asserted that more than “90%” of the VA’s medical centers have “new leadership” or “leadership teams” since he took over the troubled agency in 2014, a USA TODAY investigation found the VA has hired just eight medical center directors from outside the agency during that time. (USA Today)

I don’t think McDonald or the President or Congress understands what “cleaning house” means. The VA is a mess.


U.S. retirees will receive a 0.3 percent increase in their Social Security checks in 2017, the Social Security Administration said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Who’s buying the first round?


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