Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Dec 3, 2014
December 3, 2014
Posturing, Posing and Press Releases:
Despite saying that he's not running, 2012 GOP White House nominee MITT ROMNEY still tops a new CNN/ORC poll of Republican voters. Romney takes 20-percent of the Republican vote, followed by Dr. BEN CARSON at 10-percent and former Florida Gov. JEB BUSH at nine-percent.
NJ Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE and former AR Gov. MIKE HUCKABEE pulled eight-pecent each, with KY Sen. RAND PAUL at six-percent. (Pacelli)
The annual cost of the items in the "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song is out, and the total cost for the 12 items --known as the annual Christmas Price Index-- is $27,673.21 in 2014, just $280.04 more than last year.
PNC Wealth Management has done the cost analysis each year since 1984, and this year it's up 118 percent over the 31 years.
This year, the cost of eight of the 12 items remained the same as last year, but the Six Geese-A-Laying went up the most --a whopping 71.4 percent. The Partridge that resides in the Pear Tree also went up 33 percent --from $15 to $20-- but is still pretty affordable.
Here's the itemized cost:
--A Partridge in a Pear Tree, $208 from $199.99 (broken down, the Partridge went up five bucks from $15 to $20; the tree was up four bucks to $188; total up 3.8 percent)
--Two Turtle Doves, $125 (no change)
--Three French Hens, $165 (no change)
--Four Calling Birds, $599.96 (no change)
--Five Gold Rings, $750 (no change)
--Six Geese-a-Laying, $360 (Last year: $210, up 71.4 percent)
--Seven Swans-a-Swimming, $7,000 (no change)
--Eight Maids-a-Milking, $58 (no change)
--Nine Ladies Dancing, $7,552.84 (no change)
--Ten Lords-a-Leaping, $5,348 (Last year: $5,243.37, up 2 percent)
--Eleven Pipers Piping, $2,635.20 (no change)
--Twelve Drummers Drumming, $2,854.80 (no change)
So, if you were to shell out for everything in the song (12 drummers, 22 pipers, 30 lords, etc... down to a dozen partridges in pear trees) you'd have to shell out $116,273.06 in 2014, up around 1.4 percent from $114,651.18 last year. That's actually the smallest change since 2002, when the index actually dropped 7.6 percent following a stock-market slide after the collapse of the dot-com bubble.
By the way --back when the bank's predecessor began the poll, the total was $12,673.56 for the 12 items... less than half of what each would cost today ($27,673.21).
Top-10 most popular Christmas songs (Billboard, 2013):
10. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" By John Lennon (1971)
9. "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)" By Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1995)
8. "White Christmas" By Bing Crosby (1942)
7. "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" By Andy Williams (1963)
6. "Feliz Navidad" By Jose Feliciano (1970)
5. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" By Burl Ives (1965)
4. "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)" By Nat King Cole (1946)
3. "Jingle Bell Rock" By Bobby Helms (1957)
2. "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" By Brenda Lee (1958)
1. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" By Mariah Carey (1994)
Warning --note content:
From our "That Had To Hurt" department: The bass player for the Dutch metal band DELAIN was on stage in Birmingham, England, last week when a steamer cannon misfired and the confetti balls hit him in the testicles! UltimateClassicRock.com says Otto Schimmelpenninck didn't think anything of it at first, until the pain got worse and worse. Otto finished the concert, then had to be taken to the hospital immediately. He posted on Facebook that his scrotum was the size of a large grapefruit! Doctors removed more than 500 milliliters of blood from his scrotum, then stitched up the ruptured testicle. Otto will find out in six weeks if they'll have to remove his left testicle.
Editor's note: Now THAT's a SPINAL TAP moment! (Marino)
Diseases and Dat Boid Flu:
An experimental vaccine designed to stop breast cancer in its tracks appeared to be safe in a preliminary trial. In a small study, 14 women with breast cancer were injected with a vaccine that targets a protein known as mammaglobin-A. That protein is found in 80 percent of women with breast cancer. The journal Clinical Cancer says the findings suggest that the vaccine may also boost a patient's immune response and help slow progression of the disease. U.S. News & World Report says research will continue on the vaccine before it is made widely available. (Bartha)
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