I was going to give you a nasty look, but I see you already have one. – 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 in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.
This week’s topics include COVID funds, Meghan & Harry, unemployment claims, USA deaths from coronavirus, fully immunized Montanans, migrant children crisis, Merrick Garland, the filibuster, Warren Buffett, and much more!
According to the Montana Free Press (MTFP) and others, Montana will receive about $2.7 billion in federal COVID relief funds. MTFP reports that:
The Montana total includes an estimated $382 million for K-12 education, $286 million to extend pandemic unemployment benefits, $152 million for emergency rental assistance and $143 million for COVID-19 testing and contract tracing. It also includes $298 million in budget relief to towns, cities and tribal governments, as well as $910 million to account for the pandemic’s impact on the state budget.
There are the $1,400 individual stimulus payments, too.
Just a reminder that U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale (R-MT/AL) voted against this bill.
That’s how many people watched the Meghan and Harry interview on CBS Sunday night. Monday night, it was broadcast in the United Kingdom and 12.4 million watched. (CNN)
The interview sure took over the news cycle for a day or two.
In the week ending March 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 712,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 745,000 to 754,000. The 4-week moving average was 759,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 790,750 to 793,000. (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 529,267 deaths and 29,155,047 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 518,459.
That’s how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. (SOURCE)
Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 94,766.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s estimated population in July 2019 was 1,068,778.
That’s just a small percentage of Montanans who are fully immunized. We should all be wearing masks until we have a higher percentage of fully immunized Montanans.
A record number of unaccompanied migrant children are in Border Patrol custody and shelter beds are scarce, raising fears of a new humanitarian crisis at the southern border. More than 3,200 unaccompanied migrant children are being housed in Customs and Border Protection holding facilities, two sources confirmed. The New York Times, citing internal CBP documents, first reported that the number of detained children had “tripled in the last two weeks.” (NBC News)
This is quickly becoming a crisis.
The US Senate voted 70–30 on Wednesday to confirm Merrick Garland as President Joe Biden’s first US attorney general, nearly five years to the day after he was nominated to the Supreme Court in a bid that was blocked by Republicans. (Buzzfeed News)
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) voted “Yea.” U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) voted “Nay.” (Source)
In a poll this week at The Western Word, I asked readers “What should the U.S. Senate do about the filibuster?” Here are the results:
LIMIT ITS USE: 32%
ABOLISH IT COMPLETELY: 29%
KEEP IT AS IS: 25%
Thanks to all who participated.
Warren Buffett has been a fixture at the top of the world’s wealth rankings for decades, but in recent years he’s slipped down the list as tech fortunes soared and his hot hand cooled. Now, at 90, his net worth has blown past $100 billion.
The Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman’s wealth jumped on Wednesday to $100.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That makes Buffett the sixth member of the $100 billion club, a group including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and his friend Bill Gates. (Bloomberg)
FYI – I am not a member of this club…
Daines’ unwillingness to vote yea even on a widely acknowledged centrist like Merrick Garland proves just how far down the rabbit hole of radical right extremism Daines has gone. He votes reflexively against anything and everything Biden proposes.
But without a doubt he will soon be crowing about all the loot that he voted against that will soon flow to Montana. And with a free $2.7 billion from the Feds all the rest of our Montana Repubs will be touting their balanced financially responsible state budget that still delivers services even with a tax cut for top earners.
Terry – You’re right about Daines. The folks on social media will need to call him out when he tries to take credit for something he voted against. Thanks, JmB