Thursday Numbers

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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 Volkswagen, Montana Legislature, unemployment, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals, VA Montana Healthcare System, University of Great Falls, the weather, and much more!


That’s how much ($4.3 billion) Volkswagen will be paying in criminal and civil fines in a settlement with the Department of Justice for the company’s efforts to deliberately deceive U.S. regulators about the emissions standards of its diesel engine vehicles and sell those cars illegally to American drivers. (WaPo)

I wonder if the price of the VW Bug will go up…


That’s how much ($93 million) a Montana State legislative panel is proposing to cut from the Montana health department’s budget over the next two years, the largest in a series of deep cuts planned across state agencies. (AP)

It looks like some members found and drank from the “stupid fountain” that must be somewhere down a dark hallway in the capitol. It’s easy to go after the most vulnerable.


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


That’s how many minutes the press conference held by President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday lasted. There were 250 journalists in attendance. (USA Today)

Trump told a CNN reporter, “You are fake news.”

They could probably pay down the budget deficit quite a lot if they put the Trump press conferences on Pay-Per-View television.


As President Barack Obama prepares to leave the Oval Office, Americans are more likely to believe history will judge his presidency positively than negatively. Overall, 47% say he will be remembered as an “outstanding” or “above average” president, while 35% believe he will be judged as “below average” or “poor.” (Gallup)

You can see where Obama ranks among other presidents by clicking on the link.


The 38th Anniversary of the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals is coming up January 13, 14 and 15, 2017 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) at the Montana Expo Park in Great Falls, Montana. (

I’m not much of a rodeo fan, but it is a good thing for the Great Falls area. The last time I rode a horse I had a near death experience. Everything was going fine until the horse started bouncing out of control. I tried to hang on, but then the bouncing got worse. I decided to jump off, but my foot got caught in the stirrup. I fell head first to the ground. My head continued to bounce harder as the horse did not stop or even slow down. Just as I was giving up hope and losing consciousness, the Walmart manager came and unplugged it… (


In an email from the Trump campaign, that’s how much ($3) I can contribute “to help sustain” the movement. That amount will entitle me to be automatically entered for a trip to Washington, D.C. to watch the Inauguration.

Ahhh…no thanks.


The VA Montana Healthcare System’s performance rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs dropped from two stars to one in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016. (Helena IR)

As long as they keep the good ol’ boy/girl mentality and continue to hire from within, they will never provide the quality of care veterans deserve. They need to drain the Department of Veterans Affairs swamp…


The University of Great Falls (UGF) is breaking new ground by adding the state’s very first women’s wrestling program. (GF Tribune)

As a proud graduate of UGF, this is great news! I hope they add football…


That was the temperature (negative 18) Wednesday morning in Great Falls, MT. (@TheWesternWord)

But it was a dry kind of cold…


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