Thursday Numbers

Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote. –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 Flint water, unemployment claims, coronavirus deaths, Montana unemployment benefits, fraudulent use of absentee ballots, Trump’s disapproval rating, 2020 Census, Bill Clinton, Kamala Harris, and much more!


The state of Michigan will pay out about $600 million to victims of the contamination of Flint’s tap water, the New York Times reported Wednesday. (The Hill)

It’s about time!


In the week ending August 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 1,106,000, an increase of 135,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 8,000 from 963,000 to
971,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,175,750, a decrease of 79,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,000 from 1,252,750 to 1,254,750. (DOL)


That’s how many people have died in the United States from coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 173,125 deaths and 5,528,493 cases across the country so far. The first death in the US was reported on February 29. (John Hopkins)

Last Thursday there were 165,975 deaths.


Federal regulators have approved Montana’s plan to provide an additional $400 per week in assistance to people receiving unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 related impacts, the Department of Labor and Industry said Wednesday. (AP)

This is a good thing.


The Heritage Foundation has recorded approximately 140 criminal convictions related to the “fraudulent use of absentee ballots” over the last 20 years. These include instances of fraud in local and state elections, in addition to presidential contests. (Snopes)

Yes, that said 140 convictions over 20 years…


That is President Donald Trump’s disapproval rating. His approval rating is just 41.9%. (FiveThirtyEight)

Last week his disapproval rating was 54.5%.


That’s Montana’s rank for the 2020 Census self-response. Last week Montana ranked 46. Montana has a 57.4% response rate. Last week Montana had a 57.0% response rate. Minnesota leads the nation with a 73.1% rating. The national response rate is 64.0%. (Census)


Former President Bill Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention for the 11th time Tuesday night. This time he spoke for only five minutes. (AP)

Clinton turned 74 on Wednesday. Joe Biden is 77 years old.


Kamala Harris made history Wednesday night as the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major party’s presidential ticket. (AP)

She will make a great Vice President.