Thursday Numbers

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. ― Soren Kierkegaard

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 and humor.

This week’s topics include funding the government, holiday travel, Billings Police Officers, Go Fund Me for the wall, Montana Millionaire lottery, unemployment, 2020 Census, Trump & Syria, Thursday Numbers milestone, Paul Ryan, and much more!


The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to fund several federal agencies through Feb. 8 and avert a partial government shutdown, but without including $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall that President Donald Trump demanded. (Reuters)

Most observers believe the U.S. House will pass the bill today, and they also believe Trump will sign it to avert a partial government shutdown. We”ll see! 


That’s how many holiday fliers (46 million) the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) estimates will fly between today (Thursday) and January 6. (

Enjoy yourself…


The city of Billings does not have to pay more than $2.73 million to police officers for overtime they say they’re owed dating back nearly a decade, a state judge ruled Wednesday. (

I am not sure this is over…


That’s how much (as of 4:30 a.m. this morning) has been raised through a “Go Fund Me” page to build the border wall. That amount has been raised by 44,340 people in 3 days. The goal is $1 billion.

A bake sale or two could also help…


The Montana Millionaire lottery drawing will be held on December 28. Along with the million dollar prize, there will be three $100,000 prizes and five $10,000 prizes awarded that day. (@MontanaLottery)

No more tickets are available…


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


A federal judge Wednesday rejected a request from the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its addition of a question regarding citizenship to the 2020 Census. (The Hill)

There should not be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census…


President Trump has ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria, bringing a sudden end to a military campaign that largely vanquished the Islamic State but ceding a strategically vital country to Russia and Iran. In overruling his generals and civilian advisers, Mr. Trump fulfilled his frequently expressed desire to bring home American forces from a messy foreign entanglement. (NY Times)

I am not sure this is a good move.

Relax folks – Trump has said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.”


This is the 375th “Thursday Numbers” column. The first “Thursday Numbers” column was posted June 9, 2011. It was about 427,000 people filing new claims for unemployment. The Western Word has been an active blog since January 2005.

Thanks for reading!


Retiring Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, gave a 30-minute address to about 200 lawmakers, aides, friends and family members in the ornate Grand Hall of the Library of Congress, opposite the Capitol on Wednesday. (NY Times)

Ryan is 48. He has been Speaker since October 2015.

I thought Ryan would do a better job of herding the cats in the U.S. House as Speaker – at least those on the GOP side. Often he seemed like the “nice guy” in the room and his tenure seems to be lacking any significant accomplishments.



2 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Cadet Bone Spurs-leading from behind.

    7 year ago:

    Iraq in political turmoil one day after we leave—I told you so.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2011

    When Republicans lose their jobs, they don’t stick around to finish it.

    Last night, 40+ Republicans missed votes. Folks like Mimi Walters, Jeff Denham, Mia Love, Diane Black are a pretty long plane ride away if they need Rs on this wall funding bill…— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) December 20, 2018

    • Doug – looks like Trump has thrown a wrench into the funding deal. We’ll see if he stance up to Congress.
      As for missing votes, they are still getting paid until the new Congress is sworn in. They should be there earning their pay. Thanks Doug, -JmB

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