Quote for today…
I wish offended people would react like fainting goats and quietly tip over. – Unknown
Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you are a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.
This week’s topics include own your White House, Sturgis, deaths from coronavirus, fully immunized Montanans, unemployment claims, DoD complaint costs Great Falls, Pompeo’s whisky, off-grid living, kookiest statewide elected official, late fee, Gov. Cuomo, and much more!
For that price you can have a “White House” and not even have to run for President. Check it out HERE.
They would have to call me, “Mr. President.”
Crowds of bikers are rumbling their way towards South Dakota’s Black Hills this week, raising fears that COVID-19 infections will be unleashed among the 700,000 people expected to show up at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The rally, which starts Friday, has become a haven for those eager to escape coronavirus precautions. Last year, the rally hardly slowed down, with roughly 460,000 people attending. (AP)
It’s going to be a party!
That is how many people have died in the United States from coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There have been 35,334,422 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 611,805.
That is how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. That is just 48% of the eligible population. (Source)
Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 441,582.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s estimated population in July 2019 was 1,068,778.
Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You by clicking HERE.
In the week ending July 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 385,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 400,000 to 399,000. The 4-week moving average was 394,000, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 394,500 to 394,250.(DOL)
Note: On Thursdays, this column is published right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.
The Electric in Great Falls reported that the U.S. Department of Defense has found that the city followed all regulations related to selecting the project design team for the new indoor aquatic and recreation center.
Phil Faccenda, a local architect who did not submit bids for the project, called the DoD office overseeing the grant in February to lodge complaints regarding the city’s selection process for the design team.
The DoD investigated the complaint and the city provided additional documentation, as well as retained outside counsel to assist, costing the city an estimated $12,000 to $14,000, according to City Manager Greg Doyon.
Shameful. That money could have gone to fighting crime, or helping the homeless, or fixing some potholes.
The State Department said Wednesday it’s looking into the apparent disappearance of a nearly $6,000 bottle of whisky given more than two years ago to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by the government of Japan. Pompeo knows nothing about the gift or an inquiry, a representative said.
The Japanese whisky was valued at $5,800 and was presented to Pompeo in June 2019, presumably when he visited the country that month for a Group of 20 summit that was also attended by President Donald Trump. But unlike other gifts, the department said there was no record of what had become of the bottle. (AP)
I bet Pompeo drank it…
For almost three decades, 81-year-old David Lidstone has lived in the woods of New Hampshire along the Merrimack River in a small cabin adorned with solar panels. He has grown his own food, cut his own firewood, and tended to his pets and chickens.
But his off-the-grid existence has been challenged in court by a property owner who says he’s been squatting for all those years. And to make Lidstone’s matters worse, his cabin was burned to the ground Wednesday in a blaze that local authorities are investigating. (AP)
I hope they find a place for him to move.
This week’s poll asked, “Who is the kookiest statewide elected official in Montana?”
Here are the results:
U.S. REP. MATT ROSENDALE: 47%
SUPT. ELSIE ARNTZEN: 27%
AG AUSTIN KNUDSEN: 16%
SOS CHRISTI JACOBSEN: 4%
U.S. SEN. STEVE DAINES: 4%
GOV. GREG GIANFORTE: 2%
AUDITOR TROY DOWNING: 0%
U.S. SEN. JON TESTER: 0%
Thanks for participating!
A book checked out a half-century ago has been anonymously returned to a library in northeastern Pennsylvania, officials said.
The Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice reports that the 1967 copy of “Coins You Can Collect” by Burton Hobson arrived last month at the Plymouth Public Library in Luzerne County along with a $20 bill.
An accompanying unsigned letter, written as if by the book itself, said “Fifty years ago (yes 50!), a little girl checked me out of this library in 1971. At this time, she didn’t know they were going to move from Plymouth. Back then, kids weren’t told things like that. (AP)
Honesty is always best. I bet she feels better.
That is the number of times New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has kissed me. (USA Today)
Re: Cuomo, his 85 page attorney response is about 50 pages of pictures. Famous people hugging others. But you should read it. Interesting “He Said”
So, you open your email inbox and find an IMPORTANT, PERSONAL NOTE from the former guy, offering you a chance to buy a PRICELESS memento, and it’s even SIGNED.
The next message is an offer from a Nigerian prince to share his vast wealth with you if you’ll just send $50 to cover the bank transfer costs.
Go with the Nigerian prince. Your odds of getting something of value are a lot better.
Fred – Good choice! -JmB
Never fear, rosendork is here! Yes, Rosie needs to be in the news even if he has to make it up! And what a protector, what a man we have in Rosie. He’s like a bubble in a piss pot. He’s here, there and everywhere! Got a problem on the border? Send in Rosendork! But seriously, who puts their OWN name on their jacket?
Gotta agree with the Gazette. Thank God Matt Rosendale is on the job protecting the people of Montana from the possible danger posed by the thousands of possibly unvaccinated (but unknown for sure) and possibly Covid-positive (but unknown for sure) migrants.
Just because they are foreigners, and migrants, they are a far FAR greater risk to the health of Americans than the tens of millions of definitely unvaccinated and possibly Covid-positive anti-vaxxer pandemic-denying right wingers who make up the base of politicians like Matt, right-wingers running around uncaringly spreading disease to others in the name of their “personal freedoms”. Matt’s time is much better spent grandstanding about possibly unvaccinated migrants than working to get the truth out there and convince all those unvaccinated righties to get with the program.
Though one has to wonder exactly who Matt is trying to scare if his base believes so little in the danger of the pandemic and cares so little about the risk of contracting or spreading Covid that they actively shun the vaccine.
Terry – thanks. I forgot until someone pointed it out – the Gazette endorsed old Matt last time. Craziness. -JmB
4 That’s the number of choices you have to select from for one of trumps’s latest schemes to fleece his rube base. I’m beginning to wonder about the mental health of his rube base. Even rubes should figure it out eventually, right? No wonder they always vote against their own best interests.
Larry – Trump supporters are blind. They won’t figure it out because of that. Thanks, JmB
In regard to the wasted $12,000 – $14,000:
Rather a humiliating denouement to yet another righty melodrama. The complainant had pitched quite the apoplectic fit about this issue on his own blog. It might be humorous if, as you point out, it wasn’t such a shameful waste of taxpayer dollars that could have been better used to fund the police and address the pressing local crime problems.
Not to mention the colossal waste of City staff time. How much did that cost the taxpayers? We have one commissioner who is a philosophical ally (and employee/contractor, if you believe LinkedIn) of this blogger, who has made questioning such hidden costs a defining trademark of his Commission tenure. At least for any “liberal” proposed expense. Wonder if that concern came up in Commission discussions about this complaint.
Kind of odd that this news broke on The Electric, and not the guy’s own blog.
Terry – It’s pretty embarrassing to say the least as well as a waste of valuable resources. Thanks, JmB
In reference to the Sturgis rally. The main issue is not that the attendees might get infected there, which is an obvious assumption. The critical issue is once they contract it where are they going to spread it as they travel across the country eating, drinking, buying gas, sight seeing etc. Just to show how irresponsible this gathering is , it would be helpful if you could obtain and expose the cellphone data of folks leaving the gathering and then correlating increases in the virus two weeks later after they pass through. Allowing this event to occur is the same as having 350,000 “Typhoid Marys” allowed to spread disease with impunity.
These idiots do not have the “right” to maliciously spread a incredibly serious disease across the country just so they can drink beer and be flashed with biker chicks tits. That is not freedom or liberty it is the medical equivalent of a mass arson event. You should call it what it is. It certainly is not a joke.
Someone did such a cellphone data analysis after last summer’s Sturgis rally, and concluded it was indeed a superspreader event that was estimated to have rung up $12.2 billion in public health costs.
SD Governor Noem dismissed it as fiction without specific critcisms, and blustered about freedoms.
Old Line Democrat – good points. Thanks, JmB