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, humor, and bluntness.
One thing is for certain – you will be smarter by reading this column!
This week’s topics include the trade deficit, unemployment, Alaska’s Don Young, General Motors, migrant children, background checks for guns poll, Trump honesty poll, Trump & Crime poll, legalization of marijuana, Great Falls is freezing, Kylie Jenner, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and much more!
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the United States last year posted an $891.2 billion trade deficit in merchandise, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies. (WaPo)
This is not good news for the Trump Administration.
That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week. (USDOL)
Alaska’s Don Young is officially the longest-serving Republican House member in history. On Tuesday, Young, age 85, eclipsed the tenure of legendary former Speaker Joe Cannon (yes, of Cannon House Office Building fame), who served 16,800 days in the House and retired in 1923. (Roll Call)
It’s too bad the people elected to represent Montana in the U.S. House have not stayed there long enough to rack up some seniority and give Montana some clout.
The last compact car rolled off the line Wednesday at General Motors’ massive assembly plant in Ohio as the automaker began moving toward its future while workers wondered about theirs. GM is eliminating all 1,700 hourly positions, perhaps for good, at the factory near Youngstown, the first of five North American auto plants that it intends to shut down by early next year. The plant closings are part of a major restructuring for GM, which plans to shed as many as 14,000 workers and shift its focus to making trucks, SUVs and electric and autonomous vehicles. (AP)
Sad deal – the President should do something…
The Trump administration identified 471 parents who were removed from the United States without their children, according to the latest court filing in an ongoing lawsuit. At least some of those parents were deported “without being given the opportunity to elect or waive reunification” in accordance with a court order in June 2018 that required the government to better document waivers. (CNN)
The separation of families at the border has been mishandled from the beginning. We are better than this.
In a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Wednesday, U.S. voters support 86 – 12 percent, including 80 – 17 percent among Republicans and 76 – 20 percent among gun owners, a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives requiring background checks for all gun purchases, including at gun shows and online purchases. (Quinnipiac)
I support background checks for all gun purchases. Yes, I own several guns.
In a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday, voters say 65 – 30 percent that Trump is not honest, his worst grade ever on that character trait. He gets negative grades on other traits: 39 – 58 percent that he has good leadership skills; 39 – 58 percent that he cares about average Americans; 22 – 71 percent that he is a good role model for children. (Quinnipiac)
The 71% saying Trump, the President of the United States, is not a good role model for children is a sad chapter for our country.
President Donald Trump committed crimes before he became president, American voters say 64 – 24 percent in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday. U.S. voters are divided 45 – 43 percent on whether Trump committed any crimes while he has been president. (Quinnipiac)
If Trump’s tax returns are ever made public, he will probably be going away for a while…
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters favor legalization of marijuana nationwide. Thirty-seven percent (37%) are opposed. (Rasmussen)
Do it – some people need to mellow out…
As of Wednesday, March 5, Great Falls (MT) had gone 32 days without climbing above 32 degrees, or freezing, a stretch that began Feb. 3. That broke a 90-year-old record of 31 consecutive days of below 32-degree temperatures set Jan. 15 through Feb. 14, 1929, the year of the Wall Street Crash, according to the National Weather Service in Great Falls. (GF Tribune)
This has been a very tough winter. The spring thaw is coming, along with the flooding.
21-year-old Kylie Jenner is now a billionaire, with an estimated fortune of $1 billion. She’s the youngest-ever self-made billionaire, reaching a ten-figure fortune at a younger age than even Mark Zuckerberg (who was 23 when he hit that mark). (Forbes)
Is this a great country or what?
LeBron James moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list Wednesday night. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar scored his 32,293rd point on a driving layup in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets, getting fouled in the act and hitting the ensuing free throw. He now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643). (AP)
IMHO Michael Jordan is greater than LeBron James…