Thursday Numbers

It’s OK if you disagree with me. I can’t force you to be right. – Unknown

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you are 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 Montana’s tobacco settlement, Biden’s winning tally, unemployment claims, USA deaths from coronavirus, Boeing’s 737 Max, Montana’s maskless legislators, Charles E. Grassley, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters, and much more!


Montana will recover more than $49 million in payments and interest wrongly withheld by tobacco companies that were due under a 1998 settlement and has reached an agreement with the companies to not challenge the state’s annual payments for another 10 years, Attorney General Tim Fox said Monday. The value of the settlement, with interest and penalty payments, is more than $100 million, Fox said. (AP)

The last hurrah for Tim Fox…


President-elect Joe Biden’s winning tally is approaching a record 80 million votes as Democratic bastions continue to count ballots and the 2020 election cracks turnout records. Biden has already set a record for the highest number of votes for a winning presidential candidate, and President Donald Trump has also notched a high-water mark of the most votes for a losing candidate. (AP)

We should give Trump a medal for finishing second. He can trade it for stuff in prison…


In the week ending November 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 742,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 709,000 to
711,000. The 4-week moving average was 742,000, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 755,250 to 755,750. (DOL)

*Note: On Thursdays, my column is not published until right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.


That is 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 250,548 deaths and 11,531,451 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29. (Johns Hopkins)

Last Thursday, there were 241,808 deaths.


The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday cleared Boeing’s 737 Max to fly again. The approval comes after the jets were grounded for 20 months due to a pair of crashes that killed 346 people. (CBS News)

Tickets anyone?


Lawmakers gathered in Helena on Wednesday to elect their leadership for the upcoming 67th Legislative session in caucuses that, at least on the Republican side, offered little in the way of mask use in acknowledgement of the novel coronavirus and pandemic. (Lee Newspapers)

Republicans are already so drunk on their power that they are endangering the lives of Montanans all across the state. They should delay the upcoming legislative session.


U.S. Senate President Pro Tempore Charles E. Grassley said Tuesday evening that he has tested positive for COVID-19, after missing his first roll call vote in more than 27 years earlier in the day. The Iowa senator’s voting streak is over after 8,927 consecutive votes. (Roll Call)

Grassley is 87 years old.


That is the Kindle price of Barack Obama’s new book, “A Promised Land.” The hardcover is $27. (Amazon)


Speaker Nancy Pelosi easily secured her caucus’ nomination to lead the House of Representatives on Wednesday and later seemed to reaffirm that this would be her last term as speaker, a jolting revelation after nearly two decades in power. Democrats also elected House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) for new terms — cementing the trio that has ruled the caucus for the last 14 years.(Politico)

Pelosi is 80, Hoyer is 81, and Clyburn is 80. It is well past time for some new blood.


Following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), the U.S. Air Force announced today that Malmstrom Air Force Base will be the first to receive new MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters to replace the decades-old Vietnam-era Huey fleet. The new fleet is expected to be fully operational by 2023. (Press Release)

Much needed – I imagine I flew a few times in some of those Hueys when I was stationed at Malmstrom…

## END ##

2 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. In the 2019 Montana legislative session 50 of the members were over age 65, the high risk Covid group. As there were few changes in membership for 2021 session that no doubt is still same number. These numbers are from Montana Legislative Division.

    • Dennis – Thanks for the info. It’s going to be more dangerous for some. Hope they delay it. – JmB

Comments are closed.