Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Some people were born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. – Barry Switzer

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 nation, state, and local COVID numbers, unemployment claims, Zinke’s financial disclosure, murder & terrorism, TWW poll results, Biden approval numbers, and much more!

Note: Since last Thursday was Thanksgiving and I did not post Thursday Numbers, some of today’s numbers are being compared to data from two weeks ago.


Montana Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke filed a financial disclosure that reports he has received nearly $800,000 in consulting fees so far this year and collected between $25,000 and $80,000 in rent from three properties in Whitefish. It was also reported that Zinke’s wife, Lolita, has between $6 million and $30 million in property and holdings in Santa Barbara, California, with between $1 million and $5 million in debt on the property. (AP)

Will Montana elect another millionaire?


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 48,695,518 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29, 2020. (Johns Hopkins)

Two weeks ago, the death total was 767,439.

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 51% of the eligible population. (Source)

Two weeks ago, the number of fully immunized Montanans was 513,267.

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 November 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 222,000, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 5,000 from 199,000 to 194,000. The 4-week moving average was 238,750, a decrease of 12,250 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 down by 1,250 from 252,250 to 251,000. (DOL)

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


This week’s poll question asked, “Should we ‘throw out’ Montana’s Constitution and replace it?”

Here are the results:

NO: 100%
YES: 0%

Thanks for participating!


The Cascade County (Great Falls, MT) City-County Health Department reports that as of Wednesday still only 47% of eligible individuals in the county are fully vaccinated. (Source)

C’mon people!


According to, that is President Joe Biden’s approval rating. (Source)

Two weeks ago, Biden’s approval rating was 43%.


That is how many positive COVID cases were reported in the Great Falls Public Schools for the week ending November 19, 2021. (Source)

Two weeks ago, the positive COVID cases numbered 26.

Mask up, Montana – it’s making a difference!


A 15-year-old boy was charged with murder and terrorism for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured more at a Michigan high school, authorities said Wednesday as they revealed additional details, including a meeting between troubled officials and his parents just a few hours before the bloodshed. (AP)

These mass shootings get attention for a few days and then they fade away except to those personally affected.


The first U.S. case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the California Department of Public Health, confirmed Wednesday that the case was detected in a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22. (CBS/LA)

“There’s no reason to panic–but we should remain vigilant. That means get vaccinated. Get boosted. Wear a mask indoors.” – California Gov. Gavin Newsom


8 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Thank you Larry for brining this to our attention. This is the best example of why Gianforte wanted to eliminate the previous sytem of the Judicial Nominations by people who actually know and worked with potential candidates. Years as a Justice of the Peace in Belgrade is no where near the experience that is necessary to be a good District Court Judge. I will not be surprised that as soon as a vacancy on the Montana Supreme Court opens up, this fellow will head the list of appointees. They are following the playbook of the frightening alliance between the ultra conservative wing of the Republican Party and the Religious Right. This is especially frightening when you see the control they have over our government combined with their refusal to believe in science. We are quickly becoming a fiefdom of the ultra rich in their enclaves like the Yellowstone Club, Moon Light Basin etc. Ordinary Montanas don’t stand a chance.

  2. 1

    One more new judge of very suspect qualifications appointed by Giantforte. His only qualifications seem to be that he works for Gianforte’s right wing political recruiting groups masquerading as religious organizations. Google his Petra Academy some time and watch the videos. Not much mention of Jesus, just bizarre religious sounding gobblygook about how the students are destined to change the world with right wing values. Suffice it to say that they don’t appear to adhere to any rigorous academic standards of logic.

    Montanans need to pay close attention as GG attempts to create his own private fundamentalist dynasty here in our state.

    “Breuner, one of four applicants for the job, earned his law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1993. He also attended high school and undergrad in California.

    Since moving here in 2002, Breuner said in his application that he has served on the boards of the Petra Academy and Love in the Name of Christ, two organizations heavily tied to Gianforte and the Gianforte Family Foundation.

    Gianforte has served as the chair and his foundation has donated more than $10 million to Petra Academy, a religious private school in Bozeman. The foundation has also donated around $3 million to Love In the Name of Christ, a national organization with local chapters that bring churches together for community service work.”

    • Religious fanatics need jobs too. As long as he keeps his personal religious beliefs out of his public judicial decisions.

      Does the guy have an actual judicial record to review? Personally I would think that might be more important than his outside organization associations.

      Gianforte appointing this particular guy does look real fishy, though. It’s 100% the Good Old Boy Network thing that conservatives often howl about, at least when they are the ones who were excluded.

      • The last thing we need is a judge who believes that the earth is six thousand years old, just like his benefactor GG. It’s impossible for these folks to keep their religious beliefs out of public life. That is exactly why I wrote that if you’re unfamiliar with the Petra Academy, google it and watch their recruitment videos. Their entire belief system commands that they devote themselves wholly to changing the world to fit with their right wing values. That’s not religion, that’s politics. This judge, as evidenced by his position on their board, apparently agrees with that.

        THAT is his judicial record.

        When they have all three branches of state government, watch out. And we’re starting to see what happens

      • Larry I would imagine that’s the same sort of pre-judgment conservatives apply to judicial appointments who are atheists, or gay, or environmentalists, or of color, or whatever – that their personal associations will totally dictate their judicial decisions. In some cases that might be correct. But even the most vilified judges of recent times like Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney-Barrett have sometimes surprised with perfectly rational decisions that fly in the face of how evil they were painted by the opposition.

        But if this Breuner turns out as bad as it appears he could simply based on his religious associations, well, the voters of Bozeman and environs will have the chance to send him packing when election time comes around. Unless of course they don’t think he’s all that bad and want him to continue deciding their fates, in which case – their business.

      • Big difference between portraying someone as evil and pointing out that he has so thoroughly bypassed any sort of normal established judicial review process for such a lofty position that the ONLY thing we have to judge his qualifications on are his previous relationships. That is NOT how judgeships are supposed to be awarded. Tossing merit and experience out the window for a roll of the dice is a lousy way to select judges. You yourself mentioned that he has no judicial record, but yet you’re willing to overlook all that that in the hopes that he might not be a horrible choice. I think most folks would prefer to hire someone who at least meets minimum standards of ability based on something other than hopes and desires, and a roll of the dice. That’s exactly how we ended up with AG Knudsen. When Knudsen eventually does something out of character, I’ll start to believe your theory a little more. But I have yet to see that happen.

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