Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Is a rivalry between two vegetarians still called a beef? -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 the Montana Millionaire game, nation, state, and local COVID numbers, unemployment claims, TWW poll results, voting rights, and much more!


The Montana Lottery announced this week that they are giving away two one-million-dollar prizes this year in their annual Montana Millionaire game. (Source)

I doubt they give one to me – but I’ll try!

The tickets go on sale November 1.


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 45,220,057 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 719,546.

Thanks to everyone who wears a mask and has been vaccinated – you are patriots!


That is how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. That is just 54% of the eligible population. (Source)

Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 495,205.

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 October 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 290,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 3,000 from 293,000 to 296,000. The 4-week moving average was 319,750, a decrease of 15,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 750 from 334,250 to 335,000. (DOL)

Note: On Thursdays, this column is published right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.


The trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers, a record high, Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, tells CNN. That’s a 30% increase from before the pandemic, when the industry already faced a labor shortage of 61,500 drivers. (CNN)

We need a big “Convoy,” with the Rubber Duck and Pig Pen leading the way!


That is how many positive COVID cases were reported in the Great Falls Public Schools for the week ending October 8, 2021. (Source)

Last week the positive COVID cases numbered 119.

Mask up, Montana – it makes a difference!


This week’s poll question asked, “What grade would you give Governor Greg Gianforte regarding his response to the pandemic?”

Here are the results:

F: 77%
D: 15%
C: 4%
A: 4%
B: 0%

Thanks for participating!


The Cascade County (Great Falls, MT) City-County Health Department reports that as of Wednesday still only 50% of eligible individuals in the county are fully vaccinated. (Source)

The freedom to not get vaccinated or wear a mask is killing us…


Republicans on Wednesday blocked action for the third time this year on legislation to bolster voting rights, leaving Democrats few options to advance the bill outside of changing the Senate filibuster rule and passing it over G.O.P. opposition. (NY Times)

The Democrats need to “go big or go home.” I predict the Republicans will take over the majority in the Senate after the midterms. The Democrats might as well go for it if they want a chance to keep the majority.


The New York Times reported that as of Tuesday, Montana ranked No. 1 in the country for the most COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. Montana averages 1,039 new cases a day and has 97 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, which is a 17% increase in the last 14 days, according to the report. (Great Falls Tribune)

This is due to the poor leadership of Montana Governor Greg Gianforte…


6 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. I take this quite personally. When a moron like Knudey attacks the medical community, I go ballistic. Docs have literally saved my life three times over the last forty years. Literally! I should be dead. But because of their expertise and dedication, I’m still here. Every morning I get up I thank God that we have such amazing people in Montana. And so when a pissant like lil Knudey attacks them, I want to provide him a consequence. Montana bar style.

  2. 32
    How much it will cost to get you in on the SPAC that will merge with Liddle Donnie the sore loser’s new media company.

    Do you the Russian word for ‘truth’? Pravda.

    SPACs used to be scams and Liddle Donnie is gonna give it one last try. It’s also a great way to launder money for his Russian mafia buddies.

    • endoxi21 – it will be interesting to see how long it takes Trump’s new social media company to fail. Thanks, JmB

  3. Hey this has nothing to do with your numbers, but I spent a lot more time on a question from a few days back by researching the commissioner candidates that have been dubbed “conservative”, for who a centrist or leftist might want to support, if their mind isn’t already made up and ballot already in the mail.

    First of all, every one of them supports growth, affordable housing, and public safety, the Big Three of every commission race ever, so no real difference there. And all these candidates were civil throughout, at least in public, in contrast to the last commissioner election, so that’s positive.

    Vanessa Hayden – Not really sure of her politics. Well meaning but seems unfamiliar with the issues and heart doesn’t seem in it, pass.

    Paige Turoski – No real experience in business or civic orgs, and up until yesterday had some really overt far right content showing publicly on her Facebook page(s), so pass.

    Joe McKenney – Based on who has been supporting him financially (all the usual R PACs and organizations and names including even our nutty Lt Gov) and the slobbering over him emanating from the Christian nationalists at the local Pachyderm Club, it’s obvious he’s the boy of the Republican establishment. The ultimate old boy network insider. Plus he closed down the Cartwheel. Pass.

    That leaves Eric Hinebauch and Josh Copeland, both younger guys who are more recent transplants to Great Falls.

    I really like Hinebauch because he’s been involved in civic activities as well as business, obviously really wants to contribute to the community having a previous school board run on his resume, and hasn’t said or done or written anything I disagree with or find objectionable, particularly any partisan politics. Very focused on the affordable housing issue and seems like a real good guy.

    Copeland is energetic and charismatic and confident and has obviously thought a lot about the issues issues, and I agree with quite a number of his ideas and stances but not all. I worry about his politics, since he appeared at a meet and greet sitting in front of two Trump 2020 signs (along with McKenney and Turoski) and has embraced some of the local right’s political causes celebre like in-person vs Zoom council meetings, which to me is irresponsible given Montana’s current Covid numbers. Seems more Libertarian than far right nutjob, though. At least i hope. Plus based on relative yard signs and donations, to me he seems to have “momentum” compared to Hinebauch.

    I really want to vote for Hinebauch simply becaise I like him better and he’s said or done nothing to turn me off, but if I think about where my vote might have the most impact as far as defeating the Republican establishment.candidate McKenney and far right candidate Turoski, I might have to overlook my concerns and vote Copeland. So tough choice. Still got a few days.

    • I agree with your Hinebauch/Copeland thoughts. Although The Turoski comment in the Trib.about not looking down on mask wearers tugged at my heart strings.

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