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Larry King had a quintuple-bypass in 1987 after years of smoking up to 4 packs a day. In 2010, this was followed by stent insertion in his coronary to remove plaque. Today, he's 79, says he feels great, and knows he has a lot to be thankful for. In King's "Politicking With Larry King" show recently, he hosted a man who also should have gratitude to express--Dick Cheney. Cheney had 4 heart attacks before becoming Veep in 2001. In 2011, he got a pump to keep him alive until last year, when he had a transplant. Like King, Cheney clearly is blessed to still be alive. Below are some of his attitudes emerging from his interview with King, courtesy of Salon editor Joan Walsh in her piece yesterday entitled "Dick Cheney: Even Bigger Monster Than You Thought":

I was startled to hear the former VP express total indifference to questions about his heart donor. It’s a window into his utter entitlement and self-absorption, and he comes off as an even bigger monster than I’d thought. Most people would at least feign interest in the donor; Cheney can’t manage it. When King asked if he knows the identity of the person whose heart keeps him alive, Cheney....says no, and adds, “It hadn’t been a priority for me. For the family of the donor, they’d just lost a family member. Can’t tell why, obviously, when you don’t know the details. But the way I think of it from a psychological standpoint is that it’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart. I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, or what kind of person they were.

The fact that it wasn’t a “priority” to learn about his heart donor reflects his explanation for getting 5 deferments from the Vietnam War. This notorious hawk famously told the Washington Post: “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” Now he has other priorities than learning about his heart donor and expressing even superficial gratitude.

War criminals and torture-promoters aren’t known for empathy. Dick Cheney--living proof that you can have an actual new heart but remain heartless.
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