What beer would you have at the White House?

A lot's been said about the "beer summit" last week at the White House. Personally, I think the simple sit-down could lend itself to plenty of other problems. But a hoppy stink has arisen among the beer connoisseurs and, of course, the ongoing temperance movement.

If Democrats and Republicans would sit down for beers instead of snipe at each other, more might get accomplished at the federal level, with more reasonable plans made and both sides walking away happy with the buzz of cooperation (or maybe it was the fermented beverage).

A lot of beer purists, including my high school bud Lee Nichols, rolled their eyes at the President's picking of Bud Light for his beverage. They thought his choice was too mainstream and a lesserknown pick could have meant a boon to independent breweries

round the nation, many of which are right here in the Lone Star State.

Besides, some said, Budweiser is now owned by a Belgian company. How does that help the economic recovery if we keep buying foreign beer? Always the promoter, however, Lee gave the president points for picking an "everyman" brew as his approval numbers fall.

I like darker beers—probably would have chosen a pint o' Guinness— but I learned during my musician days that beggars can't be choosers. "The beer that's free is the beer for me," was our motto on the road.

Police Sgt. Crowley had a Blue Moon, a nice beverage brewed in Golden, Colorado. Professor Gates had a Sam Adams Light, another decent domestic.

Vice President Biden had a non-alcoholic beer, a prudent choice, given his occasional bouts with diarrhea of the mouth.

No Republican officials attended. The accompanying lecture would have monopolized the time for conversation. And, if they'd had beer on their breath, they'd have had some "'splainin' to do," like the patronizing Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, when they got back to their gated communities.

No matter what a person's political persuasion, there's nothing like good conversation over a beer between grown men (or women, but I'll stick to my own). I don't see eye-to-eye with Lee about every issue, but there aren't many people I enjoy having a cold one with more than him.

Check out Lee's beer blog at It's a hoot and he knows his barley and hops.


I haven't bragged on my wife lately. This week finds her near Lake Tahoe, California at the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. It's a week-long event where she hears pointers from renowned scribes and they, in turn, go over her material (yeah, she's working on her next book). She'll also get to hob knob with publishers and book agents.

She was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to be able to attend. We just had to get her there.

Some notables she'll get to see and get pointers from include Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina), Janet Fitch (Oleander), and Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club), among many others.

A beautiful setting in which to learn about her craft. I keep telling her if she would just write a million-seller, I could just be a kept man and lounge and enjoy some of those previously mentioned beers whilst in my pajamas.

But no pressure.


A couple of jokes my fancyschmancy writer wife would just love. This from Harold Parsley:

In hockey, the first testicular guard "cup" was used in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.

And lastly, had to pass this on from Conan O'Brien:

Did you hear about the man from New Jersey that got arrested for the second time for having sex with a horse?

He just couldn't take "neigh" for an answer.

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