Thursday Numbers

The party in power almost always unapologetically engages in deficit spending, while the other party argues passionately against the evils of debt and deficits. – Matt Taibbi

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 omnibus spending bill, Mega Millions, unemployment, Vladimir Putin, Christians, “Who will President Trump fire next” poll results, Sweet 16, disqualified candidates, Mississippi & Vermont, Benefis Health System, and much more!


That’s the amount ($1.3 trillion) of the omnibus spending bill that will be voted on this week in Congress. It will fund the government through September 30. The bill is 2,232 pages in length. You can read it HERE.

There must be a lot of pet projects in the bill…


That’s the jackpot ($421 million) of the next Mega Millions drawing Friday evening. (MegaMillions)


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


That’s the percentage of votes Russian President Vladimir Putin received in his recent “election” victory. (CNN)

Smells like there was some meddling…


According to a Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, that’s the percent of all Christians said that a lack of effort is generally to blame for a person’s poverty, compared with 29 percent of all non-Christians. (WaPo)

Sometimes Christians are their own worst enemy…


Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and “Other” lead the voting in The Western Word poll that asked, “Who will President Trump fire next?” VA Secretary David Shulkin came in with 22% of the vote. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster came in with 9%. Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos received 4%. (TWW)

I’m thinking the “Other” might be Attorney General Jeff Sessions and/or Chief of Staff John Kelly. Thanks to all who voted.


The “Sweet 16” of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament tips off this afternoon (Thursday). (ESPN)


Six state House candidates and a Senate candidate have been disqualified from this year’s elections because they failed to submit business disclosure statements. Four Republicans were disqualified as House candidates: Richard Fife II of Butte, Michael Bruner of Butte, Suzzann Nordwick of Butte and Berthold Stumberg of East Helena. (AP)

Thanks for playing…


The Mississippi governor’s appointment of Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate next month marks a milestone: She will be the state’s first woman in Congress. And that would leave Vermont as the lone state in the union to have never sent a female lawmaker to Washington. (Roll Call)

Hello Vermont…


That’s how much Robert G. Back and family will receive after suing Benefis Health System for $53 million. Their son was left paralyzed after a high school football game. After a 13 day trial, a jury found Benefis was not negligent in the case. (MTN News)