Thursday Numbers

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. – Muhammad Ali

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 Powerball jackpot, Beto & Bernie, unemployment, hate groups in America, March Madness, Jimmy Carter, New Zealand’s gun ban, Trump’s weekend tweets, rattlesnakes, C-SPAN, job approval rating of Congress, and much more!

625,000,000

That’s the estimated jackpot ($625 million) for the next Powerball lottery drawing Saturday night. (Powerball.com)

That’s a lot of money...

6,100,000

In the race on the Democrat side for President, Beto O’Rourke raised $6.1 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, surpassing his 2020 Democratic rivals’ totals for the same period. Bernie Sanders raised $5.9 million in his first 24 hours. (Texas Tribune)

221,000

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

1,020

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of hate groups operating across America rose to a record high – 1,020 – in 2018 as President Trump continued to fan the flames of white resentment over immigration and the country’s changing demographics. It was the fourth straight year of hate group growth – a 30 percent increase roughly coinciding with Trump’s campaign and presidency – following three consecutive years of decline near the end of the Obama administration. (SPLC)

Make America Great Again (MAGA)…

94

March 21, 2019 marks yet another milestone for former President Jimmy Carter. While it is not his birthday, Carter becomes the oldest living former president in United States history. At the age of 94 years and 172 days, he passes George H.W. Bush, who was 94 years, 171 days when he died last November. (AJC.com)

God bless Jimmy Carter…

68

The 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams to determine the men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2018–19 season. The 81st annual edition of the tournament began on March 19, 2019 and will conclude with the championship game on April 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Wikipedia)

I completed three or four brackets this year. I am terrible at picking teams.

64

The 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament is a planned single-elimination tournament of 64 teams to determine the women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2018–19 season. The 38th annual edition of the tournament is scheduled to begin on March 22, and will conclude with the championship game on April 7 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, with the University of South Florida serving as host. (Wikipedia)

It’s interesting that perennial powerhouse Connecticut is a two seed this year.

50

New Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws following the killing of 50 people in the country’s worst mass shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern said she expects the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme will be established for banned weapons. (Reuters)

We’ll see how this works for New Zealand. I can see the pro-Second Amendment folks in the USA going into full freak-out mode…

49

That’s how many Tweets President Donald J. Trump sent last Saturday and Sunday. He seemed pissed. New York magazine has the list of what he tweeted about HERE.

On my Pinterest politics page, I posted a meme that says, “We’re about a week away from Trump getting Jared to drive him away in a white Ford Bronco.”

45

Texas homeowners thought there were a few snakes under their home, but a snake removal company soon recorded video of their hours-long work to remove 45 rattlesnakes from under the house. (USA Today)

Working for that removal company would be a kick in the pants…

40

On March 19, 1979, C-SPAN was born. For 40 years, the network has provided unbiased and unfiltered coverage of government proceedings. A young congressman named Al Gore was the first to speak. (NPR)

Happy 40th birthday C-SPAN!

26

That’s the new job approval rating of Congress. Gallup reports that the 26% job approval rating is the highest it has been in over two years. Congress last had a higher reading — 28% approval — in February 2017, shortly after Donald Trump became president and began working with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. (Gallup)

It’s funny that most people think the problem in Congress is with a Representative or Senator from some other state and not their own. As I surf the web, most of the anger these days is pointed toward Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, Nancy Pelosi from California, and Chuck Schumer from New York. On the Republican side, it’s Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.

 

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