Thursday Numbers

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin

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 ObamaCare, unemployment, Jeopardy, Alec Baldwin, Commissioner of Political Practices, Great Falls High, pardons, Montana Legislature, election judges, biggest news stories, Republican candidates, NFL playoffs, and much more!


The Obama administration on Wednesday announced that 6.4 million people so far have signed up for ObamaCare coverage for next year, touting strong growth despite the threat of repeal. The final deadline to enroll is not until Jan. 31 when the administration hopes to have a total of 13.8 million people. (

I have hope that the new Congress and Administration can improve ObamaCare…


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


That’s how much money six-time champion Jeopardy champion Cindy Stowell won on the game show Jeopardy! When she taped her episodes in August and September of this year, she had Stage 4 cancer, and she lost her battle with the disease on December 5, eight days before her first episode aired. She donated her prize money to cancer-related organizations. (

Rest in peace Cindy.


Actor Alec Baldwin is paid $1,400 for each appearance on Saturday Night Live where he plays Donald Trump. (NY Times)

Trump is already putting people to work…


The term of Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl should be extended until mid-2019, and not ended this year, says a lawsuit filed Wednesday in state District Court. (MTN)

I agree that Motl should stay until mid-2019.


That was the Great Falls (MT) High boys’ basketball scoring record that was broken Tuesday night by Brendan Howard. (GF Tribune)


Neil Eggleston, Obama’s White House counsel, said Obama has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency. He has also shortened the sentences of 1,176 people, including 395 serving life sentences. (AP)


President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president, the White House said Monday. (AP)


Warning to Montana residents! In less than two weeks 150 legislators and many many lobbyists arrive in Helena for the 2017 Legislature. (MTN)

Here in Montana, the state legislators meet every two years for 90 days in what I like to call the big circus!


Representative Kathy Swanson of Anaconda has introduced House Bill 86, which seeks to allow youth to serve as election judges. (KFBB)

This is a good idea. Maybe the Montana Legislature will surprise us and come up with some more good ideas!


USA Today has 2016’ s biggest news stories for each state HERE.


As of Wednesday morning, that is the number of Republicans interested in running for the seat currently held by U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.). Zinke is being nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to become the Secretary of Interior. (Billings Gazette)

I shall not seek, nor would I accept the nomination…


There are only two weeks left in this NFL season! Click HERE to see the playoff picture!