Thursday Numbers

After I drink coffee I show my empty mug to the IT guy and tell him I’ve successfully installed Java. He hates me. -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 deficit, Facebook’s fake accounts, Disney’s new streaming service, Montana Public Service Commission, unemployment, crime in the USA, favorite sitcom theme song poll, college admissions scandal, Kansas City Chiefs, Cy Young winners, NFL winners and losers, and much more!


The federal deficit reached $134 billion in October, the first month of fiscal 2020, according to data the Treasury Department released Wednesday. That figure is about 34 percent higher than last October, a sign of a steadily increasing gap between federal spending and revenue. As a candidate, President Trump had promised to wipe out the nation’s deficit during his time in office, but deficits have only grown since his inauguration. (The Hill)

Oh, the lies they tell to get elected…


So far this year, Facebook has shut down 5.4 billion fake accounts on its main platform, but millions likely remain, the social networking giant said Wednesday. That’s compared to roughly 3.3 billion fake accounts removed in all of 2018. (CNN)

By the way, please “Like” my Facebook page HERE.


Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, has already seen 10 million sign-ups since launching Tuesday, the company announced Wednesday. (CNBC)

There are so many streaming services, it’s crazy…


The Great Falls Tribune reported that the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) endorsed a $6.5 million rate increase for NorthWestern Energy customers on Oct. 30. (GF Tribune)

According to several reports, it does not appear the PSC wanted us to know about it. It seems more and more that the PSC is not looking out for consumers.


In the week ending November 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 211,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 218,000 to 219,000. (

Thursday’s data is released at 6:30 a.m. Mountain time, well after this column is published. Click HERE to see Thursday’s unemployment data.


A slim majority of Americans describe the problem of U.S. crime as “extremely” or “very serious.” The latest 52% is up slightly from 48% in 2018 — when this measure hit a low not seen since 2005 — but remains down from 2015-2017, when figures of seriousness ranged between 59% and 60%. (Gallup)


Currently, in The Western Word’s favorite sitcom theme song poll, the Cheers theme song is winning with 47%, with Friends (21%) and MAS*H (16%) rounding out the top three. The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and The Office are trailing with about 6% each.

There’s still time to vote! Click HERE.

The results will be posted in Friday’s column.


Former real estate executive Toby MacFarlane was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday for his role in the college admissions scandal — the longest prison term for any of the defendants so far. (CNN)

I don’t think the Judge is being very tough on these people.


My Kansas City Chiefs are 6-4 this season. Last year they finished 12-4. (ESPN)


The Astros’ Justin Verlander and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom are the 2019 winners of the American League and National League Cy Young Awards, as announced on Wednesday night on MLB Network by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. And these two-time winners of baseball’s biggest pitching prize took two very different paths to this point. (


The New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers are the only teams with one loss this season. (ESPN)

It’s going to be an interesting second half of the season.


The Cincinnati Bengals are the only NFL team without a win. (ESPN)

It’s a tough year for the Bengals…