John McCaslin

Beats walking

"Motorcade went out of White House ... traveled east on Constitution past the Capitol — lots of bystanders and a pack of goofy-looking Segway riders."

Or so observed yesterday's White House pool report, referring to Capitol Hill drivers of the two-wheeled, self-balancing electric transportation devices that are manufactured in New Hampshire.

Same brew

"Alcohol is alcohol," says the Distilled Spirits Council, the national trade association representing America's leading brands of distilled spirits, reacting to Wisconsin Democratic Gov. James E. Doyle's decision to veto a distilled spirits sampling provision.

The Washington-based council calls the veto a "blow to equal treatment in the marketplace," pointing out that "beer and wine tastings are already permitted in the state and there is no reason to treat spirits products any differently."

The Wisconsin bill had limited consumers to three one-half ounce samples of spirits products, totaling 1.5 ounces — the U.S. Dietary Guidelines definition of a standard drink of distilled spirits, according to the council.

Since 1999, 23 states have passed or expanded consumer spirits-tastings laws. Furthermore, Mothers Against Drunk Driving did not oppose any of these bills "because the industry insisted on responsible guidelines."

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 .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.