Thursday Numbers

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell

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 Jon Tester & the Thornton Law Firm, unemployment, Duck Dynasty, 115th Congress demographics, grizzly bears, Garfield County Montana, Orrin G. Hatch, Montana Legislators’ pay raise, auto thefts in Great Falls, Great American Smokeout, drunk driving in Montana, oil & gas leases, Ryan Zinke & “American Commander,” College Football Playoff rankings, lobbying, and much more!


The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) chaired by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has decided to forfeit $267,000 in political donations from Thornton Law Firm, a Boston law firm now under federal investigation. (Billings Gazette)

First Tester & company decide not to return the donations, now they do. Then Tester declined an interview with the Gazette. Then Tester introduces a bill to “Clean Up Washington.” I wonder if someone from the Thornton Law Firm will say they got everything they wanted from Tester and the DSCC staff.

This investigation will make a nice campaign commercial by Tester’s opponent in the 2018 election. Drip, drip, drip…


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


After five years and 130 episodes, the A&E show “Duck Dynasty” is ending. (USA Today)

Quack, quack…


The upcoming 115th Congress will be the most racially diverse in history according to Roll Call.

Take a look at the demographics of the new Congress by clicking HERE.


One male grizzly bear in Scapegoat Wilderness has 101 descendants scattered across Montana’s 12,500-square-mile Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. (GF Tribune)

This is a fascinating story from the Tribune’s Karl Puckett. I’ll bet holiday gatherings for the bears are interesting…


Donald J. Trump received 90% of the vote in Garfield County, Montana. (MT SOS)

With support like that, Trump should pay a visit to Garfield County…


Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a member of the Senate since 1977 and its president pro tempore, said after Wednesday’s leadership elections that he was getting significant pressure to seek an eighth term. Hatch, 82, had previously said he would retire at the end of his current term, in two years time. (Roll Call)

That reminds me of a quote from one of the greatest movies of all time (which is basically about my life) Dazed and Confused:

That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age. – Wooderson


The Western Word asked readers this week, “Do Montana Legislators deserve an 82% pay increase?” The results: 64% voted No, 20% voted Yes, and 16% were undecided.

The Great Falls Tribune reported this morning that members of the Legislative Council on Tuesday delayed a vote on a proposed bill to increase legislators pay by 82 percent starting 2019, saying they would approach leadership for support.

I don’t think the Montana Legislators deserve a pay raise. If they feel they do deserve one, let the voters decide. If not, it will become political. Very political.


The Great Falls Police Department handled 32 reported auto thefts in October, up from 20 the previous October. (GF Tribune)

It looks like the Great Falls Police should devote more time to car thefts than writing silly tickets for cell phone violations.


Today is November 17 and it’s the Great American Smokeout day! More information about the day can be found HERE.


U.S. officials are canceling 15 oil and gas leases in an area bordering Glacier National Park that’s considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday. (AP)

That was the right thing to do.


That’s the price on for the hardcover copy of “American Commander” by U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (MT-AL). The Kindle price is $12.99. It is 240 pages. (

Just in time for Christmas…


Alabama (10-0) leads the College Football Playoff rankings. Ohio State (9-1) is #2, Michigan (9-1) is #3, and Clemson (9-1) is #4. (ESPN)

Last week, the teams ranked 2-3-4 lost.


U.S. District Judge Susan Watters on Tuesday sentenced Joseph Curtis Morrison Jr., 53, of Lame Deer to eight years in federal prison for running over Daisy Ann Rowland who was walking with her fiancé in a crosswalk in Lame Deer, killing her instantly. (Billings Gazette)

It might have been stopped. The Gazette reports:

Two weeks before killing Rowland, Morrison was arrested for felony drunken driving in Custer County after failing sobriety tests and smelling of alcohol, (Assistant U.S. Attorney John) Sullivan said. Custer County ultimately decided not to bring charges, but the facts indicated that Morrison was drinking and driving just 17 days before he ran over Rowland, he said.

Congratulations to Montana for once again being soft on drunk driving.


Anyone who is appointed to Donald Trump’s administration will be banned from becoming a paid lobbyist for five years after leaving the White House, his transition office announced Wednesday night. (Roll Call)

So the person will just have a different title instead of lobbyist…


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6 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. 130: Of course the show is ending. They can’t be expected to do a show and be in Trump’s cabinet at the same time.

  2. I don’t see how the shenanigans behind the Thornton donations are on Jon’s head. Those lawyer fools did that. The dithering on what to do with them upon discovery though seems odd, shall we say. Anyhow, it is a molehill the Goopers will trying to make into a mountain starting about 9 months from now. SOP on that score.

    • Doug –

      Believe me Doug, it all starts with just a little issue like an officeholder or his/her staff dealing with someone who turns out to be an unsavory character. We’ll see where it leads. Tester and his supporters will try to say it’s nothing. The law firm is being investigated, so that’s a fact. They give Tester and the DSCC lots of money – that’s a fact. Did they pay for something or get something in return for their donation? I’d bet folks are checking into that as I write this. Did they meet with Tester and/or his staff at the DSCC? If Tester and/or his staff are asked questions by the investigators, then it can be spun that they are part of the investigation!

      It’s nasty. It could harm some good honest people. It’s politics.

      Thanks for your comments,


  3. 267,000:Even a good ‘ole Montana boy can be enticed into the evil ways of Washington…looks like he got his hands dirty with a different kind of manure!

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