Congressman Patrick Kennedy

Congressman Patrick Kennedy represents the 1st District of Rhode Island in the United States Congress.

Recent Articles

Nationwide SB 1070 for Muslims: On the Books Since 2002.

Earlier today here on the Prospect , Matt Duss made the argument for viewing political Islam rationally, pointing out that, despite what we’re told, Islamism does not equal our enemy : Given the amount of right-wing energy being spent scaring Americans about extremist Muslims under their beds and "creeping Sharia" phantoms in their closets, such a shift in posture toward engaging with Islamists is far easier talked about than implemented. But this is a policy fight that the administration must take on. Casting "Islamism" writ large as inherently violent and irretrievably hostile to democracy is not only incorrect; it’s also strategically short-sighted. Matt’s specifically endorsing reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; however, it’s unlikely that they’ll take our hand unless we unclench our fist. And few of our leftover War On Terror domestic policies are as explicitly anti-Muslim as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System —...


Hey, readers. My name’s Channing Kennedy , and I’ll be your guest blogger this week here at the Prospect , on loan from . Can I say how excited I am to be here? I am very excited. At Colorlines, my beat is what I refer to as "race meets nerd culture." You know: video games , superhero movies , indie comics , opinion polls , Internet memes , stuff like that. I’m also, as the WASPiest person on staff, occasionally called upon to explain my people. And since nobody in the nonprofit-industrial complex has just one job under their title, I’m also the unseen hand that guides most of our social media and original video content. Oakland's my home these days; for my money, it's one of the United States’ great historical cities. Previously, I resided in the same Missouri college town that takes partial credit for Prospect alumna Ann Friedman ; on two different occasions, I emceed local fashion shows in which she debuted new lines. Trivia! In my...

Pushing Parity

Congress is poised to end insurance discrimination against people with mental illnesses.

During my 14 years in Congress, I've had the opportunity to meet incredible people and hear amazing stories of triumph, heroism, and bravery. While these remarkable stories may grab a headline in the morning's paper or a brief spot on the evening news, it is the so-called "unremarkable" stories I hear every day that really stay with me -- the stories of people who are fighting for health-insurance coverage. The inequity that exists within our health-care system is broad and severe. It cuts across geographical borders, income levels, races, and diagnoses. In 2006, an eight-state survey financed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that adults with serious mental illnesses served in the public mental-health system die, on average, 25 years earlier than other Americans. By extrapolation, this places the life expectancy of an African American male served in the public mental-health system at age 48. Tragically, this is largely a consequence of the stigma...