Thursday Numbers

The answer may not lie at the bottom of a bottle of wine, but you should at least check. – Unknown

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, humor, and bluntness.

This week’s topics include the federal debt, Montana Senate President Scott Sales, unemployment, Montana traffic fatalities, paycheck-to-paycheck, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, top 50 websites, cancer, The Western Word, the NFL divisional playoff round, and much more!


That’s how much ($7.9 trillion) the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives increased the federal debt from the time they were in the majority (Jan. 4, 2011) until the Democrats took over the majority in the U.S. House on Jan. 3, 2019. (CNS News Commentary)


MTN News reported late Wednesday afternoon that Montana Senate President Scott Sales (R) said he’ll ask the Legislature to express its formal support for President Trump’s southern border wall. Sales also said he’ll be sponsoring a bill to appropriate $8 million of state money toward building the wall.

This is one of those dim-witted ideas that happens when a bunch of clowns gets together every two years in Helena. Sales also wants to raise pay for the legislators by 69%.

Scott Sales is a moron.


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


That’s how many people died in traffic crashes on Montana’s roads in 2018. This was a preliminary report, but this is the lowest it has been in 70 years. (AP)

If Montana had stronger DUI laws, we might see that number go even lower.


That’s how many (78%) workers live paycheck-to-paycheck according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder. (CNBC)


Lee Newspapers is reporting that U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) will do something no senator has done in 75 years: serve on both the Senate Finance and Appropriations committees, a move expected to give Montana unusual clout and gird Daines for the 2020 elections.

I’m not sure that Lee Newspapers knows anything about clout in the U.S. Senate, but the key thing to remember is Daines is a freshman in the Senate. He has very little clout (or respect). These committee assignments will give him something to tell the folks about back home and generate a little publicity. It looks as though it did just that and Lee Newspapers fell for it. 


To see the top 50 websites in the United States, click HERE.


According to a study by the American Cancer Society, published Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the overall cancer death rate dropped continuously from 1991 to 2016 by a total of 27%, translating into approximately 2,629,200 fewer cancer deaths than would have been expected if death rates had remained at their peak. (Source)

This is good news. Almost everyone knows someone who has or had cancer.


The Western Word (TWW) is celebrating its 14th year today! It all started on January 10, 2005.

I have published 3,678 columns during that time which comes out to about 263 columns per year. Everyone and everything is fair game here at TWW.

Thanks for reading and a special thanks to the hundreds who subscribe to TWW.


There are eight teams left in NFL playoffs: Colts vs Chiefs, Chargers vs Patriots, Eagles vs Saints, and Cowboys vs Rams.

This weekend (the divisional round of the playoffs) is one of my favorite for playoff football with two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday featuring the top teams.

As a long-suffering Chiefs fan, I am nervous about the Colts coming to Arrowhead on Saturday. I remember when the Chiefs were playing the Colts in Indy and the Colts came back from a 28 point deficit to beat the Chiefs in the playoffs a few years ago. There have been so many disappointments from the Chiefs in the playoffs over the years.

I will give my expert predictions on who will win the games in my column on Friday.



10 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. I struggle in conversation with my very religious neighbor when I confront him about Trumps endless lies(I was a Republican for most 0f my 70 years) he says that Trumps lies don’t matter as everyone lies and he getting things done(not sure what positive things)and besides he says will be gone in 6 years(God help us). He is a very helpful man and I appreciate him so I try find other things to talk about with him but very hard as he only watches Fox News and thinks all the other news outlets are fake news. Unfortunately of late I avoid him at our usual meeting place. I also enjoy the clown show up in Helena and Sales bill will just be the first of many wacko ones(Why do we keep electing these fools). I daily read about 5-6 Montana blogs and yours is always on the list. Anybody but New England In Super Bowl. Keep up the good work.

    • Dennis – I have the same problem with some of my family and friends in regard to Trump. I just keep putting out the facts. Thanks for reading. -JmB

  2. 212: Number of times trump has said Mexico will pay for the wall (that the majority of Americans oppose).

    Trump today-I never said that.

    Thanks for your dedication to this, Mike.

    • Thanks, Doug. The thing that bothers me most about Trump is his lies. It’s not the media’s fault he feeds them lies.
      These are troubling times in the kingdom. -JmB

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