Thursday Numbers

Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice. – Donald J. Trump (Feb. 1, 2017)

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 campaign fundraising, unemployment, Arthur Lichteof, John Parker, Brett Doney, Robert O’Neill, Jon Tester, Steve Daines, Rex Tillerson, Super Bowl 51, Punxsutawney Phil, Jonathan Motl, Steve Bullock, Betsy DeVos, and much more!


Three of President Donald Trump’s political committees raked in over $11 million in December, according to Federal Election Commission reports. (


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


The Air Force has stripped retired four-star general Arthur Lichteof two ranks and docked him about $60,000 per year in pension payments after determining that he had coerced sex with a subordinate officer three times. (USA Today)


Cascade County Attorney John Parker was disciplined by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for a complaint filed in 2015 for employing three people as deputy county attorney before they had passed the Montana Bar Exam. Parker was publicly admonished by the Commission on Practice and will pay the costs incurred by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and Commission on Practice in pursuing the complaint. The costs total $2,154.26, including travel expenses, mileage, per-diem meals, paperwork copies and postage. (GF Tribune)

I’m not a fan of Parker.


That’s how many “net jobs” were lost in Great Falls during the past 12 months according to Brett Doney, president of the Great Falls Development Authority. (KRTV)

Oh, Doney…


Butte (MT) native and Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill’s book “The Operator” will be published April 25. The book will “vividly recount” a career that included some 400 missions, notably the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. (AP)


On Wednesday the U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson by a vote of 56-43. (Roll Call)

Montana’s U.S. Senators split their votes; Republican Steve Daines voted for Tillerson and Democrat Jon Tester voted against Tillerson and issued a statement in which he said:

“Rex Tillerson’s connections with Russia and Vladimir Putin are too close for comfort, and his unwillingness to tighten the screws against Russia leads me to believe he may not always act in the best interest of the United States.”


Super Bowl 51 is this Sunday! Pick who you think will win the game in The Western Word poll by clicking HERE.

Results will be released Friday.


Punxsutawney Phil made his famous weather prediction this morning, emerging from his burrow to see his shadow. That means, according to Groundhog Day tradition, the U.S. will brave another six weeks of winter. (USA Today)

Oh, Phil…


The Montana Supreme Court has ruled 5-0 that Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl’s term expired Jan 1, but they said that he can remain in office until a successor is appointed and confirmed. (AP)

I think this is a win by Bullock. Since the state senate has a hard time confirming commissioners of political practices, Motl may be there for quite some time.


Donald Trump’s nomination of school choice activist Betsy DeVos as education secretary is on thin ice after two Republican senators (Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska) vowed to vote against her. If all other GOP senators support DeVos, and all Democrats oppose her, she would end up with a 50-50 vote in the Senate and Vice President Mike Pence would have to break the tie to confirm her. (AP)

Contact your senators and tell them to vote no on the nomination of Betsy DeVos.


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2 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Superficially, because I don’t know them, it looks like the 2 volunteers to replace Motl are not rightwingy enough for the Senate to want to confirm. Can they (will they) make up some excuse to re-open the call for candidates?

    • Doug – You are probably right. The whole process is spelled out in MCA 13-37-102:

      13-37-102. Creation of office — nomination — appointment — removal. (1) There is a commissioner of political practices who is appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the senate.

      (2) (a) A four-member nomination committee composed of the speaker of the house, the president of the senate, and the minority leaders of both houses of the legislature shall submit to the governor a list of not less than two or more than five names of individuals for the governor’s consideration. A majority of the members of the nomination committee shall agree on each nomination.

      (b) The governor shall appoint the commissioner from the list of nominees submitted by the nomination committee. However, if the nomination committee fails to submit names agreed to by the majority of the nomination committee members, the governor may appoint anyone who meets the qualifications set forth in 13-37-107.

      (3) The individual selected to serve as commissioner may be removed by the governor prior to the expiration of the term only for incompetence, malfeasance, or neglect of duty. The governor’s decision to remove the commissioner must be stated in writing, and the sufficiency of the governor’s stated causes for removing the commissioner is subject to judicial review.

      It should be fun to watch – and if they senate won’t confirm the pick, then Motl could possibly be there throughout the rest of Bullock’s term.


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