The Kennedy Family Business


So, as Radley Balko pointed out this morning, Joe Kennedy may not have a bootlegger after all. Instead, he was an incredibly well-connected transatlantic political insider and business partner with the president's son who obtained exclusive liquor-import contracts from abroad (while noshing with various current and future prime ministers) and medicinal liquor permits at home, using both to make a bundle selling alcohol during Prohibition. Which is just so much better.

Anyhoo, glad to see that the real Kennedy family business is alive and well:

Ruh roh

Rep. Patrick Kennedy was spotted doing vodka shots last week at a Capitol Hill bar just hours after he spoke about his history of substance abuse at a charity event.

[A Roll Call] tipster and a pal were sitting at the bar at the Capitol Lounge around 11 p.m. on Tuesday when the Rhode Island Democrat walked in and took a seat between the pair. The tipster's friend asked the Congressman what he was drinking, and when Kennedy replied vodka, the group ordered vodka shots, the tipster tells us.

After slamming down the first round, another was ordered, then a third. Our tipster and his friend stopped doing shots, but Kennedy drank three more until the bartender cut him off, at least from obtaining any more shots, our tipster says.

Our tipster adds Kennedy was in a lively mood, joking with others at the bar and even boasting about President Barack Obama, calling him "the best president ever."

Let's just hope he didn't try to drive this time.


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  1. I want to be a Kennedy. I don’t pine for fame, fortune nor power. I just want to be little John-John. You know. So I can fuck Elaine. Fuck that shit against the wall.

  2. If he was calling Obama the best President ever, there was more than vodka in those shots.

  3. Our tipster adds Kennedy was in a lively mood, joking with others at the bar and even boasting about President Barack Obama, calling him “the best president ever.”

    I would have asked the bartender if I could borrow his ice pick, at this point.

  4. Clearly Patches must have some severe rheumatism.

  5. Let’s just hope he didn’t try to drive this time.

    Let’s hope not, but let’s also remember that it should be his right to do so if he chooses.

    1. It must be nice to be a Kennedy… you can get pulled over by the cops, and get nothing but a slap on the wrist. Just like regular people!

    2. R U Freakin’ out ‘yo mind?!?! Drive while drunk a RIGHT?!?!
      Dan T. you be one dumb mo’fo’, dog. You think that a right? let’s hope ur daughter don’t get in front of him while he’s excersising his “rights”.

  6. Drink!

  7. Actually, Matt, the article says there’s no evidence that Old Joe was a bootlegger, and he only made money during Prohibition off the “medicinal liquor” business (which does sound like bullshit), not the exclusive import contracts, which were signed in the last days of Prohibition, but didn’t go into effect until Repeal.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t recall Reason linking to this story in Slate about a little-known Prohibition program started during the administration of Reason’s favorite President, Calvin Coolidge. To combat abuse of legally produced alcohol, the Feds added poison, killing about 10,000 Americans before Repeal went into effect. Who shut this horrible project down and let Americans drink booze? Oh, yeah. Roosevelt.

    As for Patrick, well, he’s Irish. What can I say?

    1. If prohibition of pot ends under Obama’s watch, that will be his legacy – in a good way. And probably the only good thing he’ll be known for.

      1. But will the people who benefit the most from pot legalization be able to remember who to thank?

      2. That, and proving that Americans WILL vote for a non-white man for president… as long as he’s a liberal, that is.

        1. Funny, since Obama is not a liberal.

          1. Stop spoofing me! This isn’t funny, you guys.

            1. The first comment is me, the real Dan T. The second isn’t. I’m super serial.

          2. That’s a good one, Dan. Tell us another tall tale.

      3. If prohibition of pot ends under Obama’s watch,
        If the budget is balanced under Obama’s watch,
        If public sector workers are held accoutable under Obama’s watch,
        If a democratic Afghanistan emerges under Obama’s watch,

        If corporate welfare giveaways are ended under Obama’s watch,

        Yeah, it’d all be cool.

        1. I’d like to add “If monkeys fly out of my ass under Obama’s watch”, as it seems more likely (my stomach has been making weird noises lately).

    2. You are wrong. Now go away.

    3. reason‘s favorite President is Grover Cleveland for he sires bastards, hither and yon.

      Aim to be precise, Vanneman.

      1. Don’t be knocking Grover. Anyone who likes small government likes Grover.

    4. As for Patrick, well, he’s Irish. What can I say?

      That you find it acceptable to make generalizations and stereotypes about ethnic groups, but only if they’re white?

      1. That’s right, ya crackety-ass cracker.

      2. “That you find it acceptable to make generalizations and stereotypes about ethnic groups, but only if they’re white?”

        No, only if they’re Irish.

    5. You’re a fucking idiot, Vanneman. I’d be embarrassed for you if I hated you less.

  8. Stop and think it over
    Put yourself in my position
    If i get stoned and drink all night long
    It’s a family tradition

  9. Man, Kennedys are just the worst.

    I bet joe boyle is secretly a Kennedy.

    1. I enjoyed The Invention of Lying until I learned that it was filmed in Lowell. God, I hate that movie now.

      1. Lowell is a toilet and joe boyle is, literally, a piece of fecal matter.

        1. So I shouldn’t eat the Cambodian food there?

    2. I doubt if there are very many Kennedys who look like Danny DeVito.

  10. When our tipster countered: “Wait a second. What about your uncle?” ? referring, of course, to President John F. Kennedy ? the younger Kennedy jovially responded, “Oh yeah! Good one,” and slapped our tipster’s back.

    Patrick probably thought the tipster was referring to Bobby Kennedy who–as well as he could recall through the booze haze–might not have been a real president.

    1. Why don’t you fuckers ever pick on Jermaine?

  11. Patrick Kennedy: The Tito Jackson of Politics.

    1. Fucking nested threads!

  12. Why don’t you fuckers ever pick on Jermaine?

    He did a song with Devo. That’s awesome.

    It’s not awesome enough to make Neil Young’s existence tolerable, but it’s enough for Jermaine.

    1. Neil just didn’t get his afternoon nap, and they were out of juice boxes.

    2. It’s the same excuse I make for MNG…come to think of it, it sound equally weak in both cases. My bad.

      1. MNG did a record with DEVO?

        1. MNG is Booji Boy, dude. Didn’t you know that?

  13. “[T]he best president ever.”

    Boy, and I thought I had some family issues.

  14. Thankfully, the Kennedy clan seems to be dying out through their own recklessness and stupidity. Patches – bottoms up – see if you can break Keith Moon’s record.

  15. Wow, that seems pretty reasonable to me dude.


    1. Anonymity Bot is on vacation. This retort first appeared on Sept. 18, 2007.

      1. The Best of Anonymity Bot.

  16. I think we’re all missing the truly galling part of the story: an Irishman drinking vodka?

    1. Yes. But Glenlivet is just as good as Jameson’s in my book.

      1. I promise you, that most people cannot differentiate any brand by taste. Try giving two shots of the same product and they will always claim one taste better or is more smooth

        1. FG, for the most part I am with you, but I do think I could tell the differenc between a highland malt and an Islay malt.…..eries.html

          Also, the difference btween a 7 year and a 25 year malt.

          1. I do this all the time but only to smartasses. Go ahead and try it sometime and post your results. I’ll look for them. The exception is the alcoholic during the drying out process. Their body craves the same brand in the weaning stages. Btw, watching the Bruichladdich Webcam. Have your been there?

    2. Whisky sent him to rehab. The definition of insanity is drinking the same booze and expecting different results.

  17. When I’m gooned up on vodka, Barry Obama starts looking pretty good. So does the 300 pound chick with too much eye makeup.

    1. Why are you looking at me like that, Abdul?

      1. Abdul wants your dress and if the bitch can’t make it fit, he’ll head for the White House curtains.

    2. Abdul, It’s ok to come out. Congrats, but O is not available. As for the latter, take down the fucking mirrors when you’re drunk!

  18. Being a Kennedy = world’s best get-out-of-jail-free card.

  19. I think it’s sad that for Reason to make fun of a person’s substance abuse problems. Kennedy’s struggles with addiction, recovery, and relapse have been quite public but I find it very mean-hearted that Reason should sink so low to repeat this story.

    1. Pussy. My feewings got hurtz.

    2. Has this guy done a single meaningful thing in his entire life?

      1. Didn’t he crash into a roadblock while driving on Ambien?

        When it comes to Kennedys, you’ve got to scale your expectations waaaay back.

        1. Well at least he has provided some entertainment. I’ve seen him on CSpan a few times (when I have the stomach for that channel) and he’s always screaming or crying or both.

    3. It’s his apparently hereditary addiction to political power that concerns me. If making fun of his other addictions means that he gives up on that one, it is worth it.

  20. a Kennedy politician drinks, huh? wow who’d a thunk! A democrat thinks Bobama is the bomb. That’s some Pulitzer prize stuff right there. Tell the truth Matt You’re the tipster and you were out late last night weren’t ya? It’s okay I had a few late nighters and threw some half-assed shit together the next day and called it work too… We all have

    1. Come on dave, making fun/complaining about a Kennedys is always good fun.

  21. Vodka, straight up! Thank you!

    1. And Baba Booey to y’all!

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