Thursday Numbers

The Western Word is coming to you from deep inside an underground bunker in Montana – where we’re helping to deprogram the Trump cult one column at a time…

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 in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include Super Bowl viewers, unemployment claims, coronavirus deaths, a breakaway party, Larry Flynt, impeachment trial, Republican/Democratic Party approval ratings, Kansas City Chiefs, Tom Brady, Montana Legislature & COVID, plus much more!


That’s how many people (96.4 million) watched the Super Bowl on Sunday. Viewership figures for Super Bowl LV were lower than any for the game since 2006, and one important metric showed the lowest number since 1969 when Joe Namath’s New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. (WaPo)

My Chiefs imploded in the first half.


In the week ending February 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 793,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 33,000 from 779,000 to
812,000. The 4-week moving average was 823,000, a decrease of 33,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 8,250 from 848,250 to 856,500. (DOL)

*Note: On Thursdays, this column is published 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 471,764 deaths and 27,288,290 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29, 2020. (Johns Hopkins)

Last week the death total was 450,823.


Dozens of former Republican officials, who view the party as unwilling to stand up to former President Donald Trump and his attempts to undermine U.S. democracy, are in talks to form a center-right breakaway party, four people involved in the discussions told Reuters. More than 120 of them held a Zoom call last Friday to discuss the breakaway group, which would run on a platform of “principled conservatism,” including adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law – ideas those involved say have been trashed by Trump. (Reuters)

Forming a “center-right breakaway party” will help Democrats. The Republicans need to take back their party.


Larry Flynt, the controversial publisher who founded Hustler magazine, has died at age 78. (NBC News)

The 1996 movie “The People vs. Larry Flynt” is a great movie about Flynt and free speech. Woody Harrelson played Flynt.


During former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Congressman Eric Swalwell presented unreleased footage from security cameras in the Capitol on January 6 which showed lawmakers fleeing their chambers in a hallway very close, he said, to where the mob was amassing just 58 steps away. (Reuters)

It was a very dangerous time.


Americans’ opinions of the Republican Party have worsened in recent months, with 37% now saying they have a favorable view of the party, down from 43% in November. This decline, along with a slight increase in the Democratic Party’s positive ratings, to 48%, gives the Democrats a rare double-digit advantage in favorability. (Gallup)

The Republican Party has tilted too far to the right.


The eight penalties by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of the Super Bowl was a record. (Chiefs Wire)

They did not handle the situation very well.


Tom Brady has more rings than any player in NFL history after winning a seventh championship in Super Bowl 55. (Sporting News)

Former linebacker Charles Haley has five Super Bowl rings.


A fourth Montana lawmaker, GOP Rep. Becky Beard of Elliston, has tested positive for COVID-19 during this year’s session, COVID-19 panel chairman Sen. Jason Ellsworth said Wednesday. (AP)

Although wearing masks helps, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced that he will let Montana’s state-wide mask mandate expire as of Friday, February 12th. (MTN)

I will have more about the governor’s decision on Friday.


It was a little chilly this morning…