S&P Mistakenly Declares French Credit Downgrade

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Financial Faux Pas

At a time when international markets are watching Europe extremely closely, the ratings agency Standard & Poor's mistakenly announced that it had downgraded France's top AAA credit rating.

S&P has said little other than it was a technical error and the country still has a stable outlook.

The embarrassing blooper has the French government and the European Commission demanding a full investigation.

Cash Flow

Vice President Joe Biden has been pretty vocal about saving tax dollars by cutting federal waste. But, apparently not the $26,000 he stands to collect from the Secret Service over the next year in rent.

We told you over the summer the vice president rents a cottage to the agency on his lakefront property in Delaware. Both parties say it's convenient and helps agents better protect the vice president.

The Washington Times reports the new agreement is for another year at a cost of $2,200 a month. Biden has already pocketed more than $13,000 dollars.

We have found no other similar agreements between the agency the people it protects.

Stiff Upper Lip

And while Herman Cain may not be losing significant ground in the polls after recent allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women, Politico reports he is losing the endorsement of the American Mustache Institute.

The group had endorsed Cain in October, saying he would inspire -- quote -- "a new generation of good looking and fearless mustached American leadership."

The group says while the accusations concern them, there's a bigger problem for this group. Apparently there's been hairy debate over the legitimacy of Cain's mustache with some calling it -- quote -- "theater quality" -- that's a mustache that appears full and convincing from afar, but doesn't stand up to closer examination.

No reaction yet from the Cain camp.