Thursday Numbers

There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange. – Daniel Webster

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm.

This week’s topics include Greg Gianforte, Facebook, poop train, Ryan Zinke, Denise Juneau, unemployment, snow, Donald Trump, RGIII, and much more!



Caught My Eye…

I’ve always loved investigations. – Robert Mueller

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics that I am providing commentary about today include Great Falls Police Department, Jimmy Kimmel & healthcare, Facebook & politics, Paul Manafort, dotard, and One More Thing!


The Wednesday Read: Spicer, Gianforte, Tester, Taxes, & Friends

To rule is easy, to govern difficult. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Today I provide independent commentary about the following items for this edition of The Wednesday Read:

  • Spicer & Hitler
  • Trump, Jr. & Gianforte
  • MT U.S. Senate 2018
  • Daines & FEMA
  • Billings Gazette – Pro Gas Tax Increase
  • Petrini & Friends



“Enjoy your time in public service. It may well be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life.” – Donald Rumsfeld

It’s that time of year when newly-elected officials take the oath of office with swearing-in ceremonies. There are various ceremonies all across the fruited plains from small city halls and courtrooms all the way to the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Thank you to all who have taken the time to serve. Your service is very much appreciated.

The 64th session of the Montana Legislature will convene on January 5 in Helena, which means January – April will probably be more exciting than it should be. Republicans control the state House and Senate, but the Governor is a Democrat.

Republicans Steve Daines and Ryan Zinke will be sworn in to the U.S. Senate and to the U.S. House of Representatives, respectively, on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Republicans will control the House and the Senate, but the President is a Democrat.


Campaign 2014: The Fun Begins

As of today, there are 63 days until the November 4 General Election, but probably the most important date for Montana politicians and campaigns is October 6, 2014. That’s the date by which ballots are mailed to electors on the absentee list.

That’s only 34 days from today (or about 816 hours). Here in Montana, more and more voters are mailing their ballots instead of waiting until Election Day.


Published in: on September 2, 2014 at 6:58 am  Comments Off on Campaign 2014: The Fun Begins  
Tags: , , , ,

Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers” – thanks for stopping by!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Facebook, Apple iPhones, mill levy, Governor Steve Bullock, Mariah Carey, Great Falls visitor center, coffee pot problems, IRS, Presidential sushi, Chicago Cubs, Jodie Foster, Obama’s job approval rating, 2014 Senators Classic Committee, Icebreaker, Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, clemency, earthquake, Russian bombers, unemployment, and much more!


The Sunday Message

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”Matthew 16:24 (NIV)

If you use Facebook, then you probably have “friends.” If you use Twitter, then you probably have “followers,” and if you use Google+ you probably have people in your “circles.”

There’s a Twitter account with the name “Got Jesus?’ There are about 251,000 people following “Got Jesus?” on Twitter. “Jesus Daily” on Facebook has 25,739,252 “likes” and on Google+ the account has over 85,000 members.

By the way, musicians Katy Perry and Justin Bieber both have over 50 million followers on Twitter.

We seem to always have a need to belong, to be liked, to have friends. We are more connected in this world than ever before, but we’re probably more isolated than ever before because of the technology. Some people go without face to face contact with people for days or weeks.

It’s good to remember that no matter how isolated we are God is with us.

In Romans 10:17 (NCV), “So faith comes from hearing the Good News, and people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.”

It does not matter how you hear “Good News,” it’s that you keep your heart open to hear it.

The “Jesus” accounts on the social networks are wonderful tools to use in your walk with God. One that I use called “Message from God” often sends me a message just when I need to hear it. You can check it out at It’s also a good idea to interact with other Christians, which will help you grow in your walk with Jesus. You can do that just by going to church.

Most importantly: Pray a lot – and read your Bible. I use a web version of the Bible called “You Version.” I have passages highlighted with notes, and I use a reading plan.

Technology has given us the opportunity to become even closer to God – so use it!


## END ##

Published in: on March 30, 2014 at 4:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers” – the last one for March!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about the Baucus home, Hot Lotto, unemployment, Sunburst, Matt Rosendale, Ryan Zinke, Corey Stapleton, a Billings physician, Viagra & Cialis, veterans, John Lewis, Elsie Arntzen, Pope Francis, primary election day, contraceptives, Obamacare, Sweet 16, McDonald’s Prime burger, senior citizens, Rockin’ the Rivers, and Joe Biden’s e-mail. There’s a lot more so read on!


Mean People Suck

I think the first time I saw the words “Mean People Suck” it was on a bumper sticker in the parking lot at a Wal-Mart somewhere in the Midwest. Some people say a band wrote a song back in the early 1980s called “Mean People Suck” and that’s where the saying came from.

Another one of my favorite bumper stickers is, “Tough Times Won’t Last, But Tough People Will.” I will save that for another day.

Nonetheless, mean people really do suck and it’s been evident lately. Here’s what I mean.

It’s always interesting to me when a major crime or event happens in or around Great Falls, Montana. The event seems to bring out the worst in people – especially those who get their bravery because they are posting from their Facebook account to the Facebook pages of the local newspaper (Great Falls Tribune) and the one television station (KRTV) that has a strong social media program.

It’s a tough job policing your newspaper and television station’s Facebook page and the comment sections on their websites. They need the traffic on their sites, and over the years they have come a long way in policing the comments. That journey continues…


Published in: on December 17, 2013 at 7:23 am  Comments Off on Mean People Suck  
Tags: , ,

“Views are my own”

It’s tough being a reporter these days. Instead of writing a story for tomorrow’s paper or next month’s magazine, news reporting is expected to be instant. You really need to beat your competition by getting the news on Twitter, Facebook, and on your website first.

I think I would love the competition in the news world to be first – and correct – and beat the crap out of the competition!

Having tools like Twitter and Facebook can also present other problems. I am sure many news organizations have rules in place for their staff when it comes to what they should or should not say on the company Twitter or Facebook page. They may have rules in place if they are using their personal Twitter account for their professional work.

Using their personal Twitter account for their professional work is where it gets interesting – and fun. Some reporters may put “Views are my own” or “Retweets do not equal endorsements” on their Twitter bio page to let readers know that if they have a few too many cocktails and Tweet drunk, or if they are just so ticked off at someone and forget the rules, they are not really responsible.

Late last week, right-wing radio host Aaron Flint posted a story on his Voices of Montana radio program blog about a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Laura Lundquist) Tweeting about Congressman Steve Daines’ vote on the budget bill. Lundquist supposedly called Daines a “Tea Party moron” on her personal Twitter page because he voted against the budget bill.

By the way, Flint disclosed on his radio show several months ago that his wife works for Congressman Steve Daines, so one might expect him to protect the home team.