Thursday Numbers

You will never win if you never begin. – Helen Rowland

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 unemployment, household income, Steven Mnuchin, Great Falls City Commission primary election, rain and snow, rats in D.C., teddy bears, Kobe Bryant, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, congressional approval, Michael Lange, mowing the White House lawn, and much more!

284,000

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

59,039

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that median household income in the United States in 2016 was $59,039, an increase in real terms of 3.2 percent from the 2015 median income of $57,230. This is the second consecutive annual increase in median household income.

25,000

USA Today is reporting that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested a U.S. Air Force jet to take him and his wife, Louise Linton, to France, Italy, and Scotland for their summer honeymoon. The cost is about $25,000 per hour to fly. Mnuchin requested the jet to make sure he had a secure line of communication during the trip but ultimately decided the request was “unnecessary” after other communication methods were deemed available.

Some of President Trump’s people are pretty ignorant.

10,495

That’s how many ballots were cast in the Great Falls City Commission primary election.

Not many people seemed to care. I think there are around 26,000 registered voters in Great Falls.

5,000

KRTV (Great Falls) STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins says a cold rain will change to snow on Thursday night, with snow levels dipping down to 5000 feet.

It looks like summer is going to have an abrupt end…

64

There have been 64% more complaints about rats this fiscal year in Washington, D.C., than in 2015. (WaPo)

I think they are talking about four-legged rats…

40

A new survey finds that 40% of adult Americans still sleep with a teddy bear at night. And many of those bears are the same bears kept from childhood. (StudyFinds.org)

24/8

The Los Angeles Lakers will retire both of Kobe Bryant’s jerseys — No. 8 and No. 24 — at halftime of their game against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18, the team announced Tuesday. (ESPN)

Bryant is one of the greatest NBA players – top 10.

17.99

You can get a hardcover copy of Hillary Clinton’s new book “What Happened” for $17.99. (Amazon)

SPOILER: She lost to Donald Trump – that’s what happened…

17

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 16 of his Democratic colleagues introduced legislation Wednesday to guarantee health care to every American by expanding and improving Medicare. (Sanders Press)

There are several good things in the bill – but it probably will be hard to pass it…

16

As Congress continues to come under fire for seeming inaction on hot-button issues like repeal of the Affordable Care Act, congressional approval remained subdued in September, at 16%. The last time Congress approval was lower was in July 2016, at 13%. (Gallup)

I’m out of ways to say Congress sucks…

10

Former Montana House Majority Leader Michael Lange of Billings pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to possess meth for distribution and possession with intent to distribute. Lange, who is 57, faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters will sentence him on Jan. 18. (AP)

I am the one who knocks. – Walter White (Breaking Bad)

10

The young boy who offered to mow the White House lawn is getting his chance to do so, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday. Frank, a 10-year-old from Falls Church, Va., is set to visit the White House on Friday, where he’ll work with the groundskeeping crew and mow the Rose Garden’s lawn. (The Hill)

MAGA…

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