Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” If 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 COVID numbers, unemployment claims, Gary Buchanan, gun violence, mass shootings, universal background checks, Biden approval numbers, TWW poll results, Josh Duggar, gas prices, and more!


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 83,701,322 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 1,001,269.


In the week ending May 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted unemployment initial claims was 210,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 218,000. The 4-week moving average was 206,750, an increase of 7,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 199,500. (DOL)

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


Gary Buchanan is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 2 as an independent. He needs to gather at least 8,722 signatures by May 31 to get on the ballot.

Click HERE to see where to sign the petition in Great Falls and Helena.


The first four months of U.S. gun violence in 2022, as of May 2nd:

  • 6,296 gun deaths
  • 11,653 gun injuries
  • 173 mass shootings
  • 325 children shot
  • 1,480 teenagers shot
  • 360 incidents of defensive gun use
  • 467 unintentional shootings
  • 8,052 suicides [CDC estimate] (Source)


Today (May 25) is Day 145 of the year, and the country has already experienced 213 mass shootings so far. Two hundred and thirteen such attacks in 21 weeks. This averages out to about 10 a week. (NPR)

One of these days the sirens you hear might be in response to a mass shooting at a local school or business or at a concert.


Some 90% of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases. (Source)

We should get rid of the politicians who don’t.


Public approval of the U.S. Supreme Court has fallen following the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing abortion rights nationwide, according to a poll. In a Marquette Law School Poll poll, 55% disapprove of the court, up from 45% in March. Approval was down a corresponding 10 percentage points, from 54% to 44%. (AP)


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

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 41.4%.


This week’s poll question asks, “Which statewide elected official in Montana has embarrassed you the most?”

Here are the results:


*Rosendale won the March poll with 58%.

Thanks to everyone who voted!


Former reality TV star and lobbyist for the Family Research Council Josh Duggar was sentenced Wednesday to about 12 1/2 years in prison after he was convicted of receiving child pornography. (AP)

That sounds like a weak sentence…

0.084 – 11.08

That is the average price per gallon of gas around the world as of May 23, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price on May 23 was $4.74. The week before (May 16), the average price in the USA was $4.66.

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7 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. One of the most trenchant observations I’ve seen: “A well-regulated militia doesn’t murder children.”

  2. 10,500 – Average annual USA traffic deaths due to drunk driving. And politicians of all stripe fall all over each other scrambling to pass ever tougher laws to try and curb drunk driving.

    19,000 – Current pace for 2022 USA gun deaths. But Republican politicians refuse to do a damn thing except make it ever easier for anyone and everyone to obtain and carry guns.

    “Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.”

    Imagine the carnage if that kid had walked into that classroom armed with the Internet or a Playstation or whatever else the R politicians are blaming this time. While neglecting to note that the rest of the world also has the Internet and video games and TV, but for some odd reason doesn’t have nearly the mass shooting or general gun deaths problems.

  3. If 90% of Americans support universal background checks then you’d expect they’d vote in folks that agree with them. I think while they may support background checks that’s not what they are really concerned about when they fill out the ballot.

    • Bill – Good point. If so, the folks who want the background checks need to keep it in the voter’s mind. -JmB

      • I’m not as good at expressing myself as the rest of your commenters. What I think is the people that would vote for background checks wouldn’t vote for that same candidate they think wants to defund the police, forgive student loans, supports BLM. The other issues are more important to them. I remember the Reagan’s came out for stem cell research when it affected them. That’s what may change some minds about gun laws with this group of politicians.

    • # 5 not to my liking. But the other four can be taken up by Congress and remedied.

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