Thursday Numbers

I’ve had the fame and the joy of getting laughter – those are gifts. – Mary Tyler Moore

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 the Mega Millions & Powerball lotteries, unemployment, hush money, Dow Jones, Mary Tyler Moore, Brent Musburger, cell phone bill, federal hiring freeze, Trump approval rating, Twitter, U.S. House candidates, U.S. Senate Youth Program, and much more!


That’s Friday’s Mega Millions lottery jackpot ($188 million). Saturday’s Powerball lottery jackpot is $187 million.


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


A middle school teacher in Texas paid a former student nearly $28,000 to keep their sexual relationship secret — and was arrested after the teen’s mother found out about their romps, court documents show. (NY Post)

An entrepreneur… 


The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday exceeded 20,000 points for the first time in its 120-year history. (

It closed the day at a record high 20,068.51.


Mary Tyler Moore died Wednesday at 80 after a long battle with diabetes. (USA Today)

Rest in Peace.


Brent Musburger, 77, one of the most recognized and prominent voices in the history of sports television will end his play-by-play career with ABC/ESPN. He will call his final game on January 31. (ESPN)

I always enjoy hearing Musburger call a game.


A bill in the Montana Legislature (HB 194) that would prohibit cities and towns from having bans against motorists using cellphones while driving, was defeated Tuesday by a vote of 63-37. (GF Tribune)

I figured the bill would go down in defeat. It’s basically being used as a moneymaker for cities, like Great Falls. There are many other things that cause distracted drivers, not just cellphones. I applaud State Representative Jeremy Trebas, R-Great Falls, for introducing the bill.


Ranking Members of the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees, Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Representative Tim Walz (D-Minn.), led a group of 53 members of Congress to demand President Trump exempt the entire VA and all veterans seeking federal jobs from his executive order that freezes federal hiring. (Tester Press)

I’ll bet the hiring freeze will thaw out soon…


Gallup Polling reported this week that President Donald Trump starts his term in office with 45% of Americans approving of the way he is handling his new job, 45% disapproving and 10% yet to form an opinion. Trump now holds the record for the lowest initial job approval rating as well as the highest initial disapproval rating in Gallup surveys dating back to Dwight D. Eisenhower.


January 22nd marked the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. USA Today reports that the abortion rate in the U.S. has dipped to its lowest level since that 1973 decision.

I think everyone would like to see fewer abortions.


As of this morning, The Western Word (@TheWesternWord) needs just 15 Twitter followers to get to 1,000. Since I don’t have TV or radio stations, or a newspaper to promote me, this is my best chance to get a few new followers! Tell one – tell all!

There may be a free bumper sticker from The Western Word to the 1,000th follower!


MTN News reported that five people have paid the Montana Republican Party’s $1,740 fee to compete for the nomination for the soon to be vacate U.S. House seat: Greg Gianforte, state Sen. Ed Buttrey of Great Falls, former state Sen. Ken Miller of Laurel, real estate investor Drew Turiano of East Helena, and Dwayne Rehbein, a Missoula contractor.

Gianforte appears to have the inside track on the nomination.


MTN reported that four Democrats have said they’re running for the nomination for the soon to be vacated U.S. House seat. According to party officials State Reps. Amanda Curtis of Butte and Kelly McCarthy of Billings, musician and songwriter Rob Quist of Creston and Bozeman attorney John Mayer have said they are running.

Hey Democrats – who is the favorite to get the nomination?


U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines announced that two young Montanans have been chosen to participate in the 55th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C.

Allison Reinhardt of Bozeman and Mason Hutchinson of Glendive will be representing the state of Montana as delegates at the weeklong convention in Washington, D.C., from March 4-11. (Daines Press)

Congrats to Reinhardt and Hutchinson.


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