Patrick Kennedy Comes Clean

Providence, R.I. – United States Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who initially claimed sobriety, now admits he had been drinking prior to his wee-hours car crash near the U.S. Capitol building in early May, but explained he was “only following a family tradition of battling heart disease through regular alcohol consumption.”

Referring to a new Danish study which appeared online recently in the British medical journal BMJ, Kennedy claimed, “My family has always known of the link between daily alcohol consumption and healthy hearts, but it’s nice to finally have a reputable organization provide a legitimate excuse for my drinking habits.”

Dr. Morten Gronbaek of the Danish National Institute of Public Health, the study’s senior author, said regular alcohol intake benefits both sexes, “But for men, the more they drink, the lower their risk of suffering from coronary heart disease.”

The study included nearly 60,000 men and women, who were followed for an average of 5.7 years, and in the end the evidence indicated that for women, simple alcohol consumption is the most significant protective factor, while for men, drinking frequency provided the primary benefits.

According to Kennedy, the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., the frequency factor has played the greatest role in his family’s well-known history of longevity, heart health and the occasional traffic accident. After spending nearly a month in drug rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the six-term congressman admitted it was “probably a mistake to have mixed my usual cocktails with prescribed amounts of Phenergan, a anti-nausea drug, and Ambien, a sleep medication, but my thinking was a little foggy that night.”

The actions of some Capitol police, who cited Kennedy for three traffic violations following the accident, but neglected to conduct field sobriety tests, have raised questions about whether the congressman was given special treatment. Through legal representatives, all of the police involved declined to comment, but off the record, many have called attention to the long-held tradition of law enforcement officers the world over who also believe in maintaining good coronary health through regular alcohol consumption. One anonymous police official said, “Why do you think so many of us open bars after we retire? Why do you think people often raise a glass Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½to your health!’?”

Although Rhode Island Democrats endorsed Rep. Kennedy for reelection shortly after the crash, many Republicans have called for him to step down. From his booth at The Grand Old Pub in uptown Providence, an obviously heart-healthy Rhode Island Republican Party spokesperson, Chuck Newton said, “He ought to resign because he can’t fulfill his duties as congressman, or hold his liquor, neither.”

When questioned about Rep. Kennedy’s implication that his recent automotive mishap was due to in large part to his customary “healthy drinking,” Dr. Gronbaek said drinking was not a substitute for exercise, good diet or common sense. “You shouldn’t avoid exercise, eating a well-balanced meal or thinking, ” he said, “and then try to compensate by drinking. In my opinion, Mr. Kennedy probably should have walked.”

�© 2006 TS Tyler All Rights Reserved

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