Thursday Numbers

My circle is small because I am into quality, not quantity. – 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 and humor.

This week’s topics include Powerball, unemployment, Montana highway deaths, Harvey Weinstein, Elvis Presley, nurses & car salespeople, FCS Football National Championship, NFL playoffs, military draft texts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steve Daines & the Second Amendment, and much more!


That’s the Powerball lottery jackpot for Saturday night. (Powerball)


In the week ending December 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 222,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 222,000 to 224,000. The 4-week moving average was 233,250, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018, when it was 235,750. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 228,000 to 228,500. (

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.


The Montana Highway Patrol released preliminary crash data for 2019 last week. It showed 167 deadly crashes around Montana during the year, with a total of 185 fatalities. Just under 39% of the deadly crashes reported have alcohol listed as a suspected factor. (MTN)

Sad statistics.


That’s how many jurors of the 120 potential jurors summoned to state court in Manhattan on the second day of jury selection in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein were dismissed; most after saying they could not be impartial in the case. (Reuters)

This will be a long trial.


Elvis Presley, who died in 1977, would have turned 85 on Wednesday. (Wiki)


For the 18th year in a row, Americans rate the honesty and ethics of nurses highest among a list of professions that Gallup asks U.S. adults to assess annually. Currently, 85% of Americans say nurses’ honesty and ethical standards are “very high” or “high,” essentially unchanged from the 84% who said the same in 2018. Americans hold car salespeople in the lowest esteem, with 9% saying individuals in this field have high levels of ethics and honesty. (Gallup)

Car salespeople just beat out Members of Congress.


The North Dakota State Bison and the James Madison Dukes play for the 2019 FCS Football National Championship this Saturday, January 11. Kickoff is 12 p.m. ET and the game will air on ABC. (NCAA)

Who will win? Vote in my poll HERE.


There are eight teams left in the NFL playoffs. In what I always think is the greatest weekend of NFL football, here is the schedule (

Saturday – Vikings at 49ers and Titans at Ravens
Sunday – Texans at Chiefs and Seahawks at Packers

Go Chiefs!


The U.S. Army wants Americans to know they have not been selected for a military draft despite a rash of texts that falsely tells people they’re heading to fight a war against Iran (NPR):

We’ve tried contacting you through the mail several times and have had no response. You’ve been marked eligible and must come to the nearest branch in Jacksonville, Florida, for immediate departure to Iran.

The text also tells the recipient that they will be fined and sent to jail for minimum 6 years if there’s no reply.

I have people on my personal Facebook page who would believe this…


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg confirmed that she is “cancer-free” after beating the disease for the fourth time. She underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer last summer. The 86-year-old liberal justice told CNN in an interview in her chambers on Tuesday evening that the intensive radiation treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas was successful and that she was now free of the disease. (Fox News)

This is probably making a lot of conservatives cry…


U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced a bill to protect the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners. The bill would reform the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) to protect travelers who are transporting firearms across state lines. (Daines Press)

It seems like a commonsense bill.