John McCaslin

The same high winds that blew into the nation's capital Monday canceled the moving of the delay-plagued aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News to the Norfolk Naval Station.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, the Navy and the shipyard now hope to move the $6.3 billion Nimitz-class carrier on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for its Jan. 10 commissioning, just days before President Bush leaves office.

"The carrier is not yet ready to sail, but the Navy did not want to delay its commissioning," the newspaper explains. "A long list of VIPs is invited, including former presidents, top Navy leadership and the Bush family."

Indeed, the large carrier will have to complete its sea trials after the commissioning, and only then - granted the ship is deemed seaworthy - can it be accepted and welcomed into the Navy fleet.

Delivery of the carrier has been delayed three times because of labor shortages and late shipments of materials and commodities.


It's only fitting that the retiring senator who was instrumental in getting legislation passed authorizing the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be the featured speaker at its 2008 Christmas Tree Ceremony on Tuesday.

Virginia Sen. John W. Warner, a military veteran who counts three decades in the Senate, will deliver his parting remarks at 10 a.m. Afterward, a Christmas tree will be placed at the apex of the wall, decorated with handmade ornaments and cards sent by schoolchildren and Americans from throughout the United States.


"He also said that all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article I of the Constitution. Well, they're not. Article I of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch. Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive."

- Vice President Dick Cheney, interviewed on "Fox News Sunday," referring to his successor and frequent critic Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his grasp of the Constitution


Look, it's probably too late in his career for Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to enroll in public speaking training, but it couldn't hurt. The ears of Washington political blogger Howard Mortman were ringing so much after Mr. Biden's most recent round of pontifications to George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that he now wants our eyes to suffer:

"Look, every stakeholder has to get in this deal."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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