As you've probably heard a couple thousand times by now, Rhode Island Representative Patrick J. Kennedy's retirement means Washington is without a member of Team Camelot for the first time in 64 years.
But all that "end of an era" press you've been reading is garbage. The Phoenix, endowed with the powers of premonition that grip newsrooms right around the New Year, has seen the future.
And the Kennedy clan, we assure you, will rise again.
PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER In the winter of 2011 Lou Dobbs, vacationing in Hawaii, will uncover incontrovertible proof that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Honolulu and Barack Obama in Austria.
The birth certificates, we will learn, were switched a decade ago in a vast bipartisan conspiracy involving Mitt Romney and Joe Biden — the latter giddy at the prospect of handing out "Veep" bean bags at holiday parties.
Birthers will rejoice. Obama will be deposed. And the Governator, a Kennedy by marriage, will become the Termident — promptly dispatching America's most feared commando, Linda Hamilton, to the mountains of Pakistan in search of Osama bin Laden.
SENATOR KENNEDY In the spring 2012 a photographer with the Boston Globe will snap a picture of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown holding a copy of the National Review upside-down. The state's junior senator, it will suddenly become clear, is illiterate.
The revelation will actually boost Brown's electoral fortunes in Medford and certain sections of Athol. But former Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II will skate into office on the strength of a massive advertising campaign which, it will later be revealed, was underwritten by Hugo Chavez.
SENATOR KENNEDY, AGAIN In early 2013, a reporter for the Hartford Courant sitting in Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman's office will spy a stack of tortured love letters from Arizona Senator John McCain signed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
The scandal will drive the recently re-elected Lieberman from office, clearing the way for 15-year old Edward Kennedy III of Connecticut to fulfill his long-held Senate dreams.
His high-pitched voice, a liability in any other state, will be seen as an upgrade over his predecessor's nasal oratory and he will remain in the Senate for the better part of the 21st century.
SENATOR KENNEDY, PART III In the spring of 2014 New York Senator Charles Schumer will trip and fall running after a television crew. Sadly, the TV makeup permanently affixed to his forehead will not be enough to cushion the blow and he will die an untimely death.
Caroline Kennedy, just a few years removed from her disastrous bid for Hillary Clinton's vacated Senate seat, will make another, equally disastrous go at the chamber. In the summer of 2014, she will trip and fall running away from a television crew — surviving, but never recovering from the embarrassment.
Fortunately, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be in the midst of a remarkable reconciliation with ex-wife Kerry Kennedy and will appoint her to the post.
PATCHES RISES AGAIN Patrick Kennedy's post-Congressional pursuit — raising money for advanced brain research — is actually a clever cover for a sprawling mind control project.
And with Cousin Arnie's presidency in trouble — Hamilton having given up her search for bin Laden to focus on the all-time pull-up record — Kennedy will hypnotize the nation in the fall of 2016 with a coast-to-coast simulcast of Clarence Carter's cover of "Patches."
The song will be laced with subliminal pro-Schwarzenegger messaging. And Camelot, its hold on the Senate and White House firmer than ever, will live.