RSN April 14 Fundraising
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Excerpt: "After all, Cheney is a maniacally secretive man ... So it does seem rather odd that the one set of facts he actually is entitled by law to keep his trap shut about - his medical history - is the only area for which he readily has given up total unfiltered information."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney being interviewed by SiriusXM Patriot host David Webb, 10/25/11. (photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Former Vice President Dick Cheney being interviewed by SiriusXM Patriot host David Webb, 10/25/11. (photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)



Cheney Should Have Died Years Ago

By Kent Sepkowitz, The Daily Beast

26 March 12


Also See Below: How Dick Cheney Got His New Heart

 

At 71 years old and after a 20-month wait, former vice president Dick Cheney finally has a new heart. He is recovering at a Virginia hospital after receiving the organ from an unknown donor. Cheney's waiting period was a bit longer than usual, but his age may have complicated things - transplants are generally recommended for patients under 70.

He's had five heart attacks, and could soon seek a transplant. Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on the extraordinary history of Dick's ticker - and how government health care keeps him alive.

hursday's news that former Vice President Dick Cheney had received a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is the latest installment in America's longest-running medical drama, a story extending back to 1978, when Cheney had his first of five heart attacks. With the insertion of the LVAD, Cheney has completed a rare quadrifecta of heart procedures, costing about a half of million dollars in all - and led left-wingers, cardiologists, and left-wing cardiologists to wonder how a man with such a bad metaphoric and anatomic heart can keep on kicking. Or as Firesign Theater once famously asked of George Tirebiter, "How does an old man like you stay alive?"

But before going to the actuarial tables, we need to review his truly remarkable medical history - keeping in mind all the while that what we know about Dick and his heart is of uncertain accuracy. After all, Cheney is a maniacally secretive man famous for such tours de force as stonewalling attempts to discover what his National Energy Policy Development Group, aka the energy task force, was up to in the early months of his vice presidency. So it does seem rather odd that the one set of facts he actually is entitled by law to keep his trap shut about - his medical history - is the only area for which he readily has given up total unfiltered information.

Cheney's miraculous longevity is… exhibit A in the argument for intrusive and overarching government programs to ensure the public's health.

The heart has four main parts, each relatively independent of the other, each with its unique roster of ailments and remedies. Cheney has had serious problems with three of them. First there are the valves, those mechanical open-close governors of forward blood flow. People with valve problems develop heart murmurs and may eventually need valve replacement. To date, this is the only part of Cheney's heart still in tip-top shape.

Next is the wiring, the nerves that control rate and rhythm, referred to as the conducting system. Dick, alas, has had some difficulties here. There are two basic flavors of heart rhythm problems - "atrial," including the common condition atrial fibrillation; or ventricular, which may manifest as the often-fatal ventricular tachycardia, or, worse yet, ventricular fibrillation. Cheney has required electrical shocks twice for the atrial problem (not cheap) and in 2001 implantation of an automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) (call it $25,000-$30,000) to respond to any ventricular turbulence.

The third component of the average heart is the set of coronary arteries, the blood vessels that feed blood to the heart itself. Trouble here can require coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, which Cheney underwent in 1988; he received a quadruple bypass, probably reflecting the widespread nature of his arterial narrowing ($100,000 to $200,000). In 2000, at the height of the Florida non-recount, one of these arteries clotted off, resulting in his fourth heart attack and the need for a stent - a stiff pipe placed to pry the artery open and maintain its capacity (also not cheap).

Finally, this month, he needed help to treat the fourth component of the heart: the muscle. The heart muscle does what the heart does - it pumps blood forward. When the heart can no longer do this adequately, the condition is called heart failure. And in the last few months, Cheney has developed intractable heart failure. The best remedy for severe heart failure is a heart transplant, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, Cheney is considering. But for those who need help before a heart is available, or for whom a transplant is too risky, we have a gizmo called the left ventricular assist device, a $200,000 item. The LVAD is a cumbersome almost-artificial heart that requires the recipient to wear heavy batteries, a shoulder sling with various parts, tubes going through the chest and into the heart and abdomen, and other substantial inconveniences. It helps push a portion of the heart's blood forward, doing the work the failing ventricle no longer can accomplish. Once used only to stabilize people awaiting heart transplant, it now is referred to, not ironically, as a "destination therapy" - the exact intervention that you want, not the half-assed loaner you are stuck with till the real McCoy arrives.

So there you have it: the curious case of Cheney and his Wondrous Heart. But what about the basic question from above: Why on earth is anyone with this cardiac history still alive? Could it be some odd demonic possession or other explanation better suited for True Blood than for the medical textbooks?

Six years ago, the doctor and medical historian Howard Markel, writing in The Atlantic, assembled seven fancy cardiologists and discussed Anonymous Patient C's medical history with them; all were surprised that he was still puttering along, and even more surprised to then be informed that he was at the time their vice president. Stated most simply, he should have died long, long ago. Most people with his heart, his weight and sedentary habits, his history of cigarette smoking and who knows what else already have heard the bell toll. But not Cheney - pointing out that, though useful to define national trends, population-based statistics are completely useless for predicting the fate of an individual. The extremely unlikely happens every day, all of the time: Just as it's the rare person who wins the lottery, or is struck by lightning, or rolls snake eyes 50 times in a row, so too does a bad guy with a worse heart beat all the odds to stay alive.

Oil baron, draft dodger, professional paranoid, and all-around Blue Meanie, Cheney's miraculous longevity is nothing so much as the happy product of the heavily tax-subsidized and regulated American health-care system, exhibit A in the argument for intrusive and overarching government programs to ensure the public's health. Though the free-marketeers would argue the exact opposite - that the invention of such sci-fi devices as the LVAD are the product of unfettered capitalism - this completely ignores the reality of how such inventions are tested, monitored, and reviewed. Devices are studied in hospitals propped up by Medicaid and Medicare dollars organized by doctors funded by federal grants. Patient safety is assured by government bean-counters spread throughout windowless Washington offices via a process that is noticeable only when it fails - when, for example, a pacemaker is found to be defective, or a medication proves toxic.

Cheney is alive today despite a lifetime spent trying to deprive the needy of basic human rights such as health care. Yet his continued survival shows both the impotency of his attempts and the potency of the American health-care system, a lumbering bureaucracy no doubt, but one that blindly cares for big-hearted Joes as well as heartless Dicks.




go to original article

How Dick Cheney Got His New Heart

By Kent Sepkowitz, The Daily Beast

26 March 12

 

Let's not jump to any conclusions about 71-year-old Cheney leapfrogging a bunch of other worthies to get his new heart. As far as we can tell, he got his transplant simply because his number on a waiting list turned up. Plus, seven surprising facts about heart transplants.

hen last we left our hero, he was slowly dying, living out his sorrowful last moments tethered to a left-ventricular-assist device, waiting to shuffle off his mortal coil with calm resignation and karmic equipoise (OK, this last part, maybe not really). After all, he already had attained executive-branch closure by penning a remarkably vain autobiography.

Well, dry those tears, America - he's back! We all woke up Sunday morning with the chilling news that Dick Cheney has a new million-dollar heart and may be as good as ever, or as good as a 71-year-old man on multiple medicines who just underwent a major surgery can possibly be. Given his track record of opting never to die, we should figure he will be around and ready to go as VP for both Jeb Bush in 2016 and George Prescott Garnica Bush (one of the little brown ones - let's call him "P") in 2024. And never mind the minor business with the 12th and 22nd Amendments - Dick will take care of it.

How did this happen? No, not the Florida recount, but how could someone so old and frail be a candidate for that most precious commodity, the human organ? Did Dick do a dick thing and leapfrog a bunch of other worthies, people who aren't viewed by some as war criminals and evildoers but rather are decent folk decades younger, likelier to contribute to society and to provide a better return on investment for our taxpayer health-care dollars? We went through similar societal contortions when Mickey Mantle got his liver and Steve Jobs, surreptitiously, his, though we never made up our minds, celebrity being as powerful as it is.

With Cheney, let's not jump to any conclusions. Yet. First let's review the numbers which are tracked both by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a nongovernment organization, and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a slightly more arid government version. According to each, on Sunday, March 25, 2012, there were 113,639 people on the waiting list for an organ, of whom 72,822 were on the "active" roster, suggesting a more pressing need. That's a mighty long roster.

But many different human organs are transplanted each day, including hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers, intestines, corneas, and the pancreas. And that does not count the human tissue that gets moved around - faces, tendons, bones, skin. (These latter items don't count as "organs" in the 113,639 total.) In fact, a person who wants to really donate can at death contribute about a hundred different parts. Some of these parts (especially kidneys and the liver), can be borrowed from a living donor; for the rest though, the donor has to die and be young and healthy and noninfectious enough to be suitable.

According to OPTN, the vast majority of those on the waiting list are hoping for a kidney - more than 91,000 people. The kidney list can grow though, because dialysis affords an option for temporizing; the need for a lung (1,639 people) or a heart (3,162 people) is less forgiving. These latter waiting lists can be cruel: about 300 people a year die while waiting for a heart transplant.

So there is a real pinch on organs - doesn't that mean 71 is too old? Wrong again - at least no law dictates this. The transplant world is a Dick Cheney dream - a loosely regulated, market-driven free-for-all that follows whatever rules the local oligarchy sets forth. One hospital might set the cutoff at 20 or 50 or 100 years old, while another might figure 55 is the way to go. In a free market, people can find their own way.

Besides, he was not the only septuagenarian in the hunt. Granted, a recent government breakdown of those on the waiting list by age doesn't go above 64 years, but notes that 61 percent on the list are older than 50; the same source notes that 1,320, or 56.6 percent, of all heart recipients were older than 50. According to ABC, last year 332 heart transplants were performed on people older than 65, and according to the UNOS, 14 percent of heart recipients are older than 65. And do please ignore all the talk about how long (20 months compared with the typical one year or less) poor Dick waited for his blessed organ. This seems most like the groundwork of his omnipresent team of flacks working to blunt the inevitable criticism the surgery will attract.

So Cheney still has cut no corners - but what about Inova Fairfax Hospital, where Cheney had his surgery (and where, one might note, advanced age is a possible exclusion for transplant)? According to the (federally mandated) records, we can see just who else was waiting for a heart at Inova: on March 16, 2012, 31 people, of whom 15 were 50 to 64 and three were 65-plus (including our Dick), were on the list. And in 2011, two of the 19 people transplanted were at least 65 years old.

So as appalling as it may be, it is likely that Dick got a heart because he was a on a waiting list and his number turned up. (Maybe. We will never know if someone made a phone call for him any more than we will ever learn about his Energy Task Force). But don't feel bad - with his latest act of narcissism, Cheney has brought into focus a critical issue the very week when the Supreme Court is ready to review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. He has made us think about whether health care is a commodity or a human right. Heady stuff, Mr. Cheney.

The problem for him and his is that he has shone the spotlight a bit too brightly on the wrong side of the debate. Old man Cheney and his million-dollar heart serve to remind us just how ugly health care can be when it is a simple commodity given to someone with friends in high places, even if he (possibly) did get the organ through routine channels. He now and forever is the poster child for why health care must be a right, not the latest luxe trinket for those few who can afford it.


Kent Sepkowitz is an infectious-disease specialist in New York City. He has contributed to The New York Times, Slate, and, oh-so-briefly, O magazine. He also writes academic medical articles that are at times pretty tough sledding.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+213 # Barbara K 2012-03-26 11:36
My sister had COPD and was told she would die in 2 years without a lung transplant. She was 58 years old. She was afraid of a transplant, but at 59 she went to see about it. She was told that the cut off age for any transplant is 60 and that she would reach that age by the time they found a transplant, so she didn't qualify. So how did this waste of space get a heart transplant at age 71? My sister died 3 years ago because of the age 60 cut-off time. She was a wonderful, loving sister and I still miss her terribly. Yet that piece of crap got a transplant at 71.
 
 
+95 # paulrevere 2012-03-26 13:52
AND...you, me and all US taxpayers paid for it!! Paying for cheeeeeniez medical is sorta worse, well, sure close to equal to using my taxes in all this killing insanity over seas.
 
 
+14 # RLF 2012-03-27 04:52
Ain't it true! Seems that rich f#*ks like this that need no help from retirement funds of SS/medicaid shouldn't get any help.
 
 
+59 # BLBreck 2012-03-26 15:55
Gotta say, Barbara, I was thinkin' the very same thing. It crossed my mind to wonder if the "anonymous donor" died by being accidentally shot in the face.
 
 
+42 # doneasley 2012-03-26 20:16
A wasted heart for a guy who had none. I still think of the blood that he and his cronies have on their hands based on a pack of lies. I'm sure the donor would roll over in his grave if he knew the recipient of his heart.
 
 
+26 # X Dane 2012-03-26 22:11
I am so sorry for you Barbara. Losing your sister is tragic. She was too young to die. I wonder what all the T baggers have to say about the fact that your sister was DENIED the transplant, because of age??

Remember how they were screaming that the new healthcare law would kill grandma??
The present bad system, is the cause of many death because of age. And still too many want the see the affordable overturned. It does not make much sense.

That Cheney got a heart at 71 is incredible..... ....and WRONG. He has had a long life. That heart should go to someone in better shape and younger, so that person would be able to accomplish something.
 
 
-54 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-27 05:04
Lots of heartless comments listed below. Amazing how liberals are so venomous. Seems to me that Cheney has lived a long life of public service and made very difficult decisions that had to be made under dire circumstances, but that is just my opinion. Suppose you all are able to cast stones and are free of any guilt!
 
 
+16 # Todd Williams 2012-03-27 09:34
Yep. No problem with that one.
 
 
+32 # dyannne 2012-03-27 10:03
Public service? If you consider service to corporations, war machines, the 1 percent, etc. public. The rest of us not so much. I feel just about as much guilt about what I think of Cheney as what he thinks of me. Which is ZERO.
 
 
+12 # Annalois 2012-03-27 11:28
I still can't get over the fact that Cheney was the head of (NORAC)and had planes on an exercise mission when 9/11 happened.
 
 
+20 # kyzipster 2012-03-28 06:42
I have no guilt in my low opinion of Cheney and you apparently have no guilt in supporting the loss of life in Iraq and a long list of other toxic decisions.
 
 
+9 # jcdav 2012-03-29 17:40
I have no sympathy for this POS unprosecuted war criminal.. Guilt? think this lying war monger has any...God, how about the heartfelt apology he gave after shooting a "friend" in the face? No, Dick has gotten off far easier than he deserves. Haliburton sure prospered under his midas touch,eh? War is good business, engage long and often. I only hope his new ticker carries him long enough to be tried for the thousands of military and tens of thousands of dead rom his lies about Iraq and God knows (as yet) other issues.
 
 
+8 # motamanx 2012-03-29 18:07
Liberals are, by and large, the ones who made what is great about America. Read our history. How the term "liberal" got to be an epithet in the minds of some, I really don't know.
 
 
+71 # dbrown 2012-03-26 11:46
It's not surprising at all. By telling us a bunch of stuff about which we couldn't care less, he gives the illusion of openness.

This "transparency theater" is a logical match to the "security theater" to which we are all treated at airports around the nation.
 
 
+76 # Merschrod 2012-03-26 11:52
This is a bit silly, but real single payer can work and this is an example of what public health can do if funded and if access is gained.

On a more cultural level there is the old Latin American expression, "Mala yerba nunca muere." Translated, "Bad weeds never die."

So you can take your pick, go for public health as the rational, or go for the cultural explanation. Then too there is the statistical "stuff" but that is too boring in spite of a probable interaction effect with both explanations.
 
 
+36 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-26 13:39
Or the French dual: "Ce sont les mailleurs qui partent les premiers" (The best ones go first)...
 
 
-77 # bugbuster 2012-03-26 11:56
I'm afraid that this argument will only fly for lefties. The GOP has repudiated every alumnus for not being "conservative" enough.

It's like they just fell of the truck and think they are the only people in the country who know anything--like a bunch of know-it-all teenagers in other words.

Of course the same mental disease has attacked the left. Now Barack Obama is a far right zealot. Again, a bunch of know-it-all teenagers.
 
 
-8 # paulrevere 2012-03-26 13:54
I'm as left as they come, and I have no idea why you got so many red thumbs on your comment...I generally agree that dems and their leader are far from their hearts, morals and ethics.
 
 
+68 # lcarrier 2012-03-26 15:07
How does this address the argument that Cheney is taking advantage of the very thing that he denounces?
 
 
+31 # elmont 2012-03-26 15:08
Quoting bugbuster:
I'm afraid that this argument will only fly for lefties. The GOP has repudiated every alumnus for not being "conservative" enough.

It's like they just fell of the truck and think they are the only people in the country who know anything--like a bunch of know-it-all teenagers in other words.

Of course the same mental disease has attacked the left. Now Barack Obama is a far right zealot. Again, a bunch of know-it-all teenagers.

Huh??
 
 
+194 # Dumbledorf 2012-03-26 11:58
No! I disagree! Cheney is still alive and must stay alive so he can be rightly brought to justice and tried for his crimes against humanity, his deliberate lying to the American people, his part in 911 and coverup, CFR , and other crimes he has committed, included arranging for Haliburton and Blackwater usa to receive no-bid contacts totally billions for his cronies. This man is truly evil!
 
 
+26 # Interested Observer 2012-03-26 17:06
No easy out like Ken Lay (Enron, if you have forgotten), or rather the easy out for the widow ending further attempts to attach the ill-gotten treasure.
 
 
-2 # forparity 2012-03-27 21:39
Of course, it helps to recall that Ken Lay and Enron, were the product of the Clinton, dot.com bubble era. It then collapsed in March of 2000. The Enron collapse was well underway, and was completed shortly after Bush/Cheney took office.

Dates are a funny thing, you know?
 
 
+5 # doneasley 2012-03-30 00:13
Quoting forparity:
Of course, it helps to recall that Ken Lay and Enron, were the product of the Clinton, dot.com bubble era. Dates are a funny thing, you know?


Don't even go there! Ken Lay was an oily buddy of Daddy Bush and was very instrumental - working with "W" - in Daddy's election in '88, and "W"'s SELECTION in 2000. Lay even provided Enron's private plane to shuttle GOP big wigs between DC and Florida in the process of stealing that election. After his SELECTION by the Supremes, "W" winked and actually laughed at California's plight - offering no help since CA was controlled by Democrats - when Enron raped CA with unregulated energy pricing. Congressman Phil Gramm's wife Wendy sat on Enron's board and the two of them were instrumental in the deregulation of commodity futures. This is not to absolve Clinton and Larry Summers of any responsibility. It was a 2-party solution to Enron's demise - the biggest corporate failure ever - and the downward spiral of our economy which finally hit rock bottom, during "W"'s watch, in 2008.

A funny (but who's laughing?) footnote to all of this was Bush's reply when quizzed in late 2001 about Ken Lay and Enron. The liar, who over the years referred to Lay as "Kenny Boy", had the gall to ask, "Ken who?"

But this whole discussion was about that other heartless bastard wasn't it?
 
 
+97 # NanFan 2012-03-26 11:59
It won't be long. I'd like to start his obituary now, and it won't be pretty.

New heart contraption or not, he's one sick puppy...and he has no "heart," never did, never will, because doesn't care about anyone...not even himself "smokes, drinks, sedentary" and heart problems.

Not a hard one to call.

N.
 
 
+126 # BobbyLip 2012-03-26 12:02
Cheney DID die years ago. Any resemblance between him and a living human being--which is to say, a mensch--is only a matter of his outward shape. Something like 150,000 Americans are awaiting new hearts, and this soulless beast gets one of the few that come available? What do you have to say about that, Jesus?
 
 
+14 # Kiwikid 2012-03-26 14:22
I like to believe the best of people - now we have an explanation as to why he is the way he is:-) Perhaps a new heart will bring with it a personality and character transplant that would invite him to right some of his wrongs - just like Dickens' Scrooge being confronted with his own evil past life.
 
 
+16 # Interested Observer 2012-03-26 17:13
Saw that one on an 80's Twilight Zone with Paul LeMat as Cheny. Unfortunately, that was just a TV show, and A Christmas Carol is just a book.
 
 
+12 # Interested Observer 2012-03-26 17:11
Read a novel called "The Soul of Anna Klane". In the spirit of that book consider the possibility that Dick Cheny did depart years ago, and his soulless husk has been doing all the dirt over the 34 years or so since first heart attack.
 
 
+1 # Doggone 2012-03-29 17:23
He's been cloned, right? The dark Cabal he belongs to want to keep him in the game, he's so mean and nasty, they like him. And don't expect a change of heart, LOL !!
 
 
+64 # sfnativecrone 2012-03-26 12:05
It's really hard to believe that he has a heart. Maybe his heart was rebelling against his actions. As someone in my family used to say, "Only the good die young". Cheney's still being alive confirms this.
 
 
+7 # chomper2 2012-03-27 07:14
Well, I heard he actually did die when they opened him up for the translpant and found no place to put it.
 
 
+61 # Robert B 2012-03-26 12:11
I truly believe that the universe contains a mechanism for justice. People like Dick Cheney think that if they stay out of Leavenworth until they die, they've won, and that karma is just so much fuzzy-wuzzy bullshit. I think they are very wrong.
 
 
+150 # davidr 2012-03-26 12:24
Dick Cheney didn't save his own life, nor could his (or anyone's) private fortune possibly have sufficed to perfect all the medical practices and to invent all the technology that he came to require.

Dick, it was all there during your time(s) of need because the entire society paid for it. You're welcome.

Our society established medical schools and provided financial aid to the students there. We built hospitals and paid their staffs, provided laboratories and gave research grants, funded experiments and tests, oversaw the quality of those tests and disseminated the results, granted patents and awards, and did all we could to advance medical science and provide life-saving treatment. You're welcome.

As a nation, we provided tax deductions for employer-funded health insurance. We paid for military and civil service health insurance, provided Medicare and Medicaid, and simply paid out of pocket for emergency walk-in patients so that the social scale of health care would be adequate to develop best practices and support the infrastructure that came to your rescue on all the many occasions you needed it so badly.

You're lucky to be rich, Dick, but riches could never have saved your life. You're far, far luckier to have lived in a society that values science and medicine, one that has used vast public resources to develop them and make them available to you. You wish all your fellow Americans were so lucky, don't you, Dick?
 
 
+46 # dyannne 2012-03-26 14:23
And he will NEVER say thank you for all that. Well said davidr.
 
 
+46 # BLBreck 2012-03-26 16:00
Nicely said, davidr. It's called the Social Contract. The one that Republicans want to tear up and trample on.
 
 
+67 # wwway 2012-03-26 12:30
Cheney has the money to keep himself alive for ever. Never mind the working roofer with a family to feed and children to educate and needs his elbow repaired after falling from a roof because he can't afford health insurance.
 
 
+141 # Richard Raznikov 2012-03-26 12:31
I predict that this will be the first case where the heart rejects the recipient and not the other way around.
 
 
+57 # drush 2012-03-26 12:32
The world would have been a much better place had he died in Vietnam and Reagan in WW2. But then we have a system that coddled them, while as old men they deprived others of the benefits of life.
We somehow are involved in our own deprivation. They were not great men not at all. We may be right now killing the great man that could lead us out of this mess.
 
 
+42 # abdullahiedward 2012-03-26 14:23
Agreed. Had he died years ago a few hundred thousand other people (mostly Muslims) would still be alive.
 
 
+32 # lcarrier 2012-03-26 15:09
Ha! He might have died in Vietnam if he hadn't been a draft dodger.
 
 
+68 # luvdoc 2012-03-26 12:38
Cheny's cheating death one more time, at great public expence, brings no joy to Mudville.

May he , with his hitlerian smirk, and all of his seed, suffer in measure with the harm he has caused. luvdoc
 
 
+61 # colvictoria 2012-03-26 12:38
He's had heart attacks because deep down inside his conscience knows that he has done some very evil things to many people all over the world.
Why is it that people like Cheney get to live a long life while so many die so young and never get a chance?
Why do people like Bin Laden, Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein and other tyrants get assassinated (whether they deserved it or not) while Cheney gets a heart transplant and lives? Where is the justice?
 
 
+15 # Interested Observer 2012-03-26 17:25
Nah. Deep down he thinks he has saved America time and again, almost single-handed, from enemies innumerable, and each time overcoming the interference of the fools and traitors in our midst .. and the U.S. constitution apparently written by fools and traitors of the past. Deep down he knows he is the most important man in American history since Abraham Lincoln. Down deep he thinks he's Jack Bauer working from an "undisclosed location".
 
 
+3 # Pickwicky 2012-03-28 13:41
Interested Observer--you have stated the contents of Cheney's mind. He could never conceive of himself as anything but the real savior of America--a legend in his own time--and mind (as the joke goes). He's convinced he's far more important than any president of this country. And that describes the extent of his insanity.
 
 
+43 # retiredbiker 2012-03-26 12:50
See the actual operation at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qNeGSJaQ9Q&feature=fvwrel.
Some comments from blogs: "Who would have ever thought Darth Vader checked "yes" on his driver's license" "The most surprising thing is that the one he'd been using from Attila the Hun lasted so long." He never had a heart to begin with, so the proper word in not transplant, but "implant." "If a liberal was the unwitting donor, that would be a previously undiscovered level of hell for them." "I understand that doctors used a pig's heart on Cheney's transplant (in keeping with the original equipment). A real human heart would have been rejected."
 
 
+45 # Portland Johnny 2012-03-26 12:52
Right on, Robert B!

They are very wrong.

And now his darling daughter, Liz, gets to embrace, embody and defend right before our very eyes all of the misery her father's evil spirit has sowed.

Indeed a triple karma cookie in the here and now..... one for him, one for her, and let's not forget his soon-to-be widow,the lovely Lynn Cheney, the quintessential high priestess of hatred. Any one remember how her neck veins used to bulge out in anger when she filled in for the equally charming Robert Novak, on the old Crossfire show on CNN? Just checking.
 
 
+41 # sunspot 2012-03-26 12:53
There is evidence that sometimes when people receive donated organs they acquire the preferences of the donor. I can only hope that Satan's Spawn got the heart of a truly good person whose compassion was boundless. Wouldn't that be a hilarious miracle? Can you imagine Cheney with new impulses for altruism? Wouldn't that shake up his Illuminati brethren?!
 
 
+85 # Kraag 2012-03-26 12:54
How awful would you feel knowing that your loved ones heart had been given to this venal evil turd of a man?
 
 
+81 # Polimorphus 2012-03-26 13:01
Should have died? Died? He should have been tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and going only by what is known about his lifetime record, his decisions, recommendations and outright lies, and comparing them to some who were hanged at Nuremburg in December, 1946, he merited no better. No, not just died.
 
 
+35 # video4315 2012-03-26 13:05
IF Cheney were going to get a heart transplant, it would have served the rest of us better for him to have received a heart before he served as VP. After all, we all saw the results of his not having a heart during his reign of terror.
 
 
+34 # dick 2012-03-26 13:08
God works in mysterious ways, latest INSTALLMENT. I think he got the heart from some wrong place-wrong time innocent guy who was tortured to death at Gitmo while psychologists monitored his micro-responses . At least he will show up at the GOP Convention to remind people why NOT to vote Republican.
 
 
+12 # DLT888 2012-03-26 14:54
Quoting dick:
God works in mysterious ways, latest INSTALLMENT. I think he got the heart from some wrong place-wrong time innocent guy who was tortured to death at Gitmo while psychologists monitored his micro-responses. At least he will show up at the GOP Convention to remind people why NOT to vote Republican.


WOW, I hadn't thought of that. I wouldn't doubt it for a second!
 
 
+19 # USA2012??? 2012-03-26 13:22
Wrong, the thing that walks around in Cheney's image isn't human: it's an alien. Conversely, you may be right: as you said Cheney should have and probably did die a long time ago.
 
 
+69 # Tom Camfield 2012-03-26 13:29
I've always held Dick Cheney in low regard, but I never wished him dead. However, I'm disgusted at his long-term gold-plated health care at government expense, compared to the GOP's general dogged resistance to any form of subsidized health care for suffering low-income Americans. It's just plain sickening!

An example of every-day health-wealth disparity is this e-mail note I just got from my brother down in Mississippi::
“ A young friend died a couple weeks ago from a heart attack. She had no health insurance. Her husband had been off work for a prolonged period because of an injury and they could not afford the cost. Consequently, she did not check into a hospital when she needed to. She was 44.”
 
 
+46 # Old Man 2012-03-26 13:40
"Dick" should be in prison for life, how ever long that would be.
How meany people is he directly responsible for dieing in Iraq? Thousands of US Troops and Hundreds of thousand's Iraqi citizens lives wasted.
I wouldn't help this Greedy SOB off the ground if he fell and there wasn't anyone to help him get back up. What a sorry excuse for a human being.
 
 
+26 # henry bruce 2012-03-26 13:44
death would become him
 
 
+32 # gracchus 2012-03-26 13:45
The reality is that Cheney has been dead for a long time now and only exhibits the musculo-skeleta l animation that leads the world to believe he lives due to the ministrations of a Haitian Shaman adept of Baron Samedi.

Cheney's heart failed decades ago as an ancillary result of the soulectomy that eliminated his conscience and sense of human decency. He was informed of the risk but elected to go through with the operation for the upside benefits he perceived in excision of the organs that govern the functions of basic morality and ethical behavior.

He remains a species of medical marvel and the only American Vice-President ever known to have retired among the Undead.
 
 
+39 # Writ 2012-03-26 13:52
I doubt if anyone reading this is surprised that a "heartless" man would have heart problems. All that steal and metal keeping his mechanical heart pumping may account for the robic nature of what can only be described as a "demon," living despite the inhuman heart, since demons have the power to live on and on. Hopefully, this demon lives on to face justice for the phony war, the inside job that was 911, and all the ethnic cleansing he and his demon hoard have been doing to the peoples of the war, while keeping Americans so frighten they cannot see the truth of what these thieves have done to the American treasury while distracting us with wars, financial insolvency, joblessness and all the other plans they have for us now that they took away our inalienable rights having destroyed the Constitution under the laughable name of the Patriot Act. Believe nothing they say or do? Do not believe their press, their scare tactics, or anything else, just follow the money.
 
 
+8 # hobbesian 2012-03-26 20:13
"steal and metal"; clever, that.
 
 
+15 # lilpat126 2012-03-26 14:01
May he have many long years to repent his sins here on earth, knowing how despised he is by many. I'm sure there is going to be a special hell on earth especially for him.
 
 
+21 # seeuingoa 2012-03-26 14:02
Luckily the donor is dead,
so he doesn´t know where he ended up.
 
 
+29 # dyannne 2012-03-26 14:30
Cheney will do ANYTHING to keep from dying, because he knows when he does he is going straight to Hell.
 
 
+21 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-03-26 14:32
Cheney is one of the Lizard people. If he was given a human heart transplant it will surely be rejected.
 
 
+24 # Tulsagerry 2012-03-26 14:48
Cheney had a Heart? If any soul on Earth deserved a New Heart it was not Killer Cheney!
 
 
+32 # DLT888 2012-03-26 14:52
It just SICKENS me that this war criminal got a heart!! Somewhere in this country someone is crying over the loss of a loved one. Imagine if those people were people who gave to others and cared for others and their lost loved one worked with homeless people, etc. And they choose to donate their organs only to hear that at the same time, Dick Cheney got a new heart!!! I think I would tear my hair out and try and rip it out of his chest. Someone DECENT could have gotten that heart who was waiting for them. Cheney NEVER should have been on that list at his age (and a war criminal to boot!) He's just delaying his inevitable trip to HELL.
 
 
+24 # pernsey 2012-03-26 14:53
Satan finally gave up his heart, so the dark beast known and Cheney can live on. This narcissistic piece of garbage will live on, just like Darth Vader. They just keep adding new parts and mechanical parts so the SOB can live on!! Cheney is a scum bag with a lot of money, thats it!!!!
 
 
+22 # unitedwestand 2012-03-26 15:07
Often when people have just one near death experience they become more understanding and caring about the well being of others and do what they can to reverse their former wrong doings. This did not happen with Dick after having had several near death episodes, which proves to me that he is an Alien from the planet SOB.
 
 
+17 # PDX Bob 2012-03-26 15:13
It's Alive! The monster lives!
 
 
+11 # jooberdoober 2012-03-26 15:26
I feel bad for the guy in China (allegedly) that had to die for him to get it.
 
 
+9 # grouchy 2012-03-26 15:30
Not surprising at all! He is known as "SUPERSPINNER" and this is just one of many examples of him spinning whatever story line is to his advantage.
 
 
+15 # Utopia Bold 2012-03-26 15:34
He should have been aborted when still a tiny monster.
 
 
+1 # rembrandt 2012-03-26 15:50
Like Lloyd Blankfein, Dick is doing the work of God.
 
 
+9 # James Marcus 2012-03-26 15:59
Cheney is Reptilian.
Perhaps implanting a human heart will actually 'give him a heart'. Bu,t I am not holding my breath........
 
 
+13 # DPM 2012-03-26 17:58
Sorry folks. The Devil won't take him!
 
 
+9 # chinaski 2012-03-26 18:41
Somewhere out on the windswept caliche of west Texas a farmer ponders over the fresh carcass of a mysteriously mutilated cow. Meanwhile post-op ex-vice-preside nt FrankenDick sits in a Starbucks and orders another latte with extra extra cream, pondering his newfound appetite for dairy products.
 
 
+13 # Walhalla 2012-03-26 18:50
How long can these "organs" be kept fresh for transplanting - may it be possible that he got Breitbart's heart??
 
 
+12 # hobbesian 2012-03-26 20:18
Nice thought! So business as usual, then....Except that, do we know if Breitbart even donated his heart to "medicine"? Was he known for giving? and generosity? It might already have turned rancid or whatever....
 
 
+17 # Rick Levy 2012-03-26 18:57
Cheney's surviving severe heart problems all these years and then getting a new ticker to boot should be proof enough that there's no such thing as karma. Or if there is, the Republicans have privatized it.
 
 
+11 # Dick Huopana 2012-03-26 19:29
That Earth's human species is capable of producing a Dick Cheney - and is even trying to keep him alive - is just another example of why our species should be prevented from spreading itself anywhere else in the Universe. That is, we must be confined to Earth until we become extinct and are no longer a threat of also contaminating other planets.
 
 
+14 # lin96 2012-03-26 19:42
I can still hear the Republican crowd in Texas as they chanted to let the person without healthcare die. A soul is a soul. "Justice For Everybody Harms Nobody".
 
 
+10 # mhog jones 2012-03-26 20:38
let that satanic golum die......
 
 
+5 # handskhan 2012-03-26 23:33
Could it be the heart of Saddam Husain which he had stacked away in the freezer for the rainy day?
Is this what the Iraqi war was all about?
 
 
+3 # tuandon 2012-03-27 04:24
Too bad the transplant was a success, but I guess Satan is immortal, isn't he?
 
 
+17 # Steve5551 2012-03-27 04:55
Yes, Yes, Yes to Dumbledorf, keep Cheney Alive so he can give answer for his roll in 9/11 and the murder on 10's of thousands of innocent people the world over. The Irony is thick enough to cut with a knife. Here is a world class war crimminal who makes Adolf Hitler look like a Baptist Sunday School teacher who opposed universal health care for the American people (underlings), who spent our children and grandchildren's economic future on the war machine and created war so as to justify that insanity, who gave great energy and evil creativity to the dismantling of middle-class America....bein g taken care of by the tax dollars of the hard working people of the United States. God hasten the day when Dick Cheney and George W Bush and Hw bush are forced to give answer for the evil brutality they have dealt to the people of this planet and nation
 
 
+6 # abdullahiedward 2012-03-27 07:27
Well said!!!!
 
 
+5 # abdullahiedward 2012-03-27 07:35
Amen!
 
 
+12 # Dick Huopana 2012-03-27 07:56
Well said, Steve.

Let's also urge God to "hasten the day" of accountability for Bush and Cheney's war-making accomplices Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.

America’s Pledge of Allegiance ends with “liberty and justice for all.”

Bernie Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for his Ponzi scheme that he estimates cost investors $50 billion. But, Madoff didn’t order anyone to shoot, bomb or torture a single human being. And, his $50 billion “white-collar crime” is a small fraction of the estimated $3 trillion eventual cost of the fraudulent Iraq war.

Yet, George, Dick, Donald, Connie and Colin - without remorse or apology - are being allowed to currently enjoy lives of freedom, luxury, and celebrity.

Obviously, our Pledge of Allegiance has become outdated and needs to be shortened to eliminate the words, " and justice for all."
 
 
+14 # lneidhold 2012-03-27 06:54
Obamacare??? I'd just be happy to have the health plan Cheney has... the one I'm already paying for.
 
 
+3 # lark3650 2012-03-27 07:01
Spewing hatred at Dick Cheney is a waste of time and energy. I will use my energy to, as Ralph Nader says, to "act for justice" and support people like Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and Daniel Elsberg and Ralph Nader who have always had the welfare of this country and its people foremost in mind.
 
 
+4 # BloodandBlueBerries 2012-03-27 07:38
At least an innocent primate didn't have to be the donor.
 
 
+6 # DaveM 2012-03-27 13:19
The irony is that a world ruled by Dick Cheney et al would very possibly never have developed the medical technology that is keeping him alive. The vast majority of it was developed by university hospitals and research centers, all of which receive a fair amount of taxpayer money.

One nice thing about this is that this "gentleman" might live long enough to be brought up on war crimes charges in front of an international tribunal.
 
 
+8 # jazzman633 2012-03-28 09:28
This reminds me of Abbie Hoffman's remark when Nixon died: they should drive a stake through his heart to make sure he was dead. In this case, it would be a pity to ruin all the medical artistry -- but worth it, just to be sure.

Cheney is a liar, coward, hypocrite and warmonger, always eager to send American to die in places he wouldn't even visit. Like a WASP Rasputin, he ran the country, treating Dubya like a ventriloquist's dummy.
 
 
+4 # hiranya_src 2012-03-28 10:48
Cheney the "Cyborg." 'Nuff said.
 
 
+2 # motamanx 2012-03-29 18:00
I don't want him to die. Not until he comes clean about 9/11 anyway. Perhaps his new heart will be one that compels him to tell the truth, for once. If not--well there's always waterboarding; and Mr Cheney deems that is perfectly OK when confronting terrorists.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN