Grapevine: Vladimir Putin named Russia's Man of the Year

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Stand By Your Man

The saying goes -- "you don't want to change horses mid-stream."

The Russian people seem to have taken that to heart even if the stream is turning into a tsunami right now.

President Vladimir Putin has been named Russia's Man of the Year for an impressive 15th time in a row.

The title comes as the Russian currency has lost more than 50 percent of its value this year.

Interfax reports Putin claimed 68 percent of the vote in the poll -- double the number from last year.

No one else received more than four percent of the votes.

Overpriced Jewelry?

A Pentagon task force is under investigation for wasting taxpayer money to send Afghan jewelers on training trips to Europe and Asia.

$700 million was given to the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in part to help the country's gem industry.

In a letter to outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel the Inspector general questions the significant cost of sending local jewelers to places like Paris and India.

Quote -- "It is not clear to me that the gem industry program produced any positive and lasting economic development or increased employment in Afghanistan."

The IG is requesting documents related to the trips with the deadline of Christmas Eve.

Glimmer of Hope

Finally, what is worse than getting a rejection letter by a prestigious university? Getting an acceptance letter by mistake.

Nearly 300 applicants to Johns Hopkins University received an e-mail with the subject "Embrace the Yes" welcoming them to the class of 2019.

The e-mail was a mistake.

Of the 294 recipients, 285 had been rejected and nine had been put on a waiting list.

The university has apologized, telling the Washington Post it was human error.