Monday, June 23, 2014

Thanks For The Memories, Dick

Former Vice President Dick Cheney showed up on Sunday chat shows yesterday and allowed as how he meant no disrespect when he called President Obama a traitor.  And when he was called out for being wrong on Iraq over and over again, he dismissed it as dredging up the past.

What a fucking monster.

But in a way I’m glad to see that he’s reared his shiny head.  It gives us all a chance to look at him in the fresh light of day even if it makes our skin crawl.  As Tina Dupuy notes, it reminds us of what an unmitigated disaster the Bush/Cheney administration was and who it was that lied us into a war that killed over 4,000 American soldiers and untold numbers of Iraqi civilians, destabilized the entire region, and gave us the set-up for the current clusterfuck that is going on now.

So now that we’re remembering what a shitheel he was then and seeing him again live (allegedly) on TV, we can tell him with a fresh voice to get the hell out.

Cheney in Iraq 06-23-14HT to Balloon Juice.  Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dick Cheney Remembers

The former vice president was caught in a reflective mood as he looks back at his administration:

Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

Ah, the good old days of WMD’s, hurricane-ravaged cities, and lies, lies, lies.  I get all misty just thinking about them.

Yes, I know he was actually talking about President Obama, but Mr. Cheney’s lack of self-awareness and irony is the stuff of legends.

If there was truly any justice in this world, Dick Cheney would be rotting away in a jail cell.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Monday, October 28, 2013

What A Blessing

George W. Bush was a rotten president and he scared the crap out of us by choosing Dick Cheney as his vice president.  But at least the forces of nature conspired to keep Mr. Bush alive during his eight years in office so that the nation and the world would not have to endure the torture of having this worthless collection of tissue samples as president.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Reading

A Marriage of Convenience — Peter Baker in the New York Times looks back at the relationship between George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Bush-Cheney 10-13-13A few weeks before Barack Obama’s inauguration, Joshua Bolten invited all of his predecessors to his office in the West Wing to meet with his successor, Rahm Emanuel. Thirteen of the living 16 men to have served as chief of staff attended, including Cheney, who was Gerald Ford’s top assistant. They went around the table one by one, offering advice. When Cheney’s turn came up, a devilish look crossed his face. “Whatever you do,” he said, “make sure you’ve got the vice president under control.”

As Bush’s final days in the White House approached, he did not exactly have his vice president under control. Cheney’s lobbying campaign on behalf of Scooter Libby had become deeply disconcerting to the president. To Cheney, it was a simple matter of justice. As he saw it, Libby had been pursued by an unprincipled prosecutor bent on damaging the White House. Neither Libby nor anyone else had been charged with the actual leak that precipitated the investigation, only with not testifying truthfully about how he learned about Wilson’s identity. Years later, it would be revealed that the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, knew from nearly the start that Richard Armitage, Colin Powell’s deputy, was the original source of the leak, not Libby. Cheney believed that Fitzgerald’s relentless investigation in spite of this fact was proof that Cheney was the real target, and that Libby was caught in the cross-fire. Libby had loyally served his country, Cheney argued, only to be made into a criminal. And Powell and Armitage stayed quiet as it happened. “The Powell-Armitage thing was such a sense of betrayal,” Cheney’s daughter Liz told me. “They sat there and watched their colleagues in the White House — Scooter and everyone else — go through the ordeal of the investigation, and all that time they both knew Armitage was the leaker.” Armitage and Powell said they were simply following investigators’ instructions to keep silent.

As Cheney pressed Bush for the pardon, the president put him off by saying he would wait to issue controversial pardons until near the end of his term, which the vice president took as an indication that Libby would be among them. Bush had already commuted Libby’s prison sentence of two and a half years after it was handed down in 2007. As a result, Libby never had to spend a minute behind bars, a decision that inflamed critics on the left, who argued that Bush was interfering with justice, and on the right, who felt he had not gone far enough in quashing a bogus prosecution.

At the time, Bush said publicly that he was not substituting his judgment for that of the jury. So how would he explain a change of mind just 18 months later? That was the argument Ed Gillespie, the president’s counselor, made to Cheney when he came to explain why he was advising Bush against a pardon. “On top of that, the lawyers are not making the case for it,” Gillespie told Cheney, referring to the White House attorneys reviewing the case for Bush. “We’ll be asked, ‘Did the lawyers recommend it?’ And if the lawyers didn’t, it’s going to be hard to justify for the president.”

Inside the Bubble — Molly Ball at The Atlantic reports that the conservatives are convinced they’re winning the shutdown battle.

Friday was a difficult day to wake up Republican in America. With the government shutdown entering its 11th day, a poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News had definitively quashed any hopes that people might be taking the GOP’s side in the standoff. Americans blamed Republicans over the president by a 20-point margin for the shutdown; the GOP’s rating was at its lowest point in the pollster’s history. Shutting down the government to demand that the president’s unpopular health-care law be stopped had somehow made both President Obama and his health-care legislation more popular.

You might expect this news to put a damper on a roomful of conservatives. In official Washington, Republicans were in a full-on panic; commentators called the party suicidal, and lawmakers began scurrying toward a resolution to the standoff. But Senator Ted Cruz of Texas—the man whose adamant resolve and 21-hour filibuster had helped bring on the stalemate, earning him the loathing of many of his colleagues—was in a defiant mood.

Taking the stage at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of religious-right activists, Cruz announced that they were winning the fight. “I am here this morning with a word of encouragement and exhortation!” Cruz said. A woman in the front row shouted a passage from Romans: “If God is with you, who can be against you?” “I receive that blessing,” Cruz said somberly.

The conventional wisdom that the battle to stop the health-care law cannot be won, to Cruz, was merely a “trick” perpetrated by the deceitful left. “Look, the Democrats are feeling the heat,” he said. Cruz has been huddling with the lower chamber’s most conservative members, urging them to pressure Speaker John Boehner, prompting some to declare him a sort of shadow speaker. “In my view, the House of Representatives needs to keep doing what it’s been doing, which is standing strong,” he said.

[...]

In between speeches, the phone number of the congressional switchboard was projected on screens at the front of the room. Attendees were encouraged to call their members of Congress and urge them to hold fast to their demands. Among audience members, there was no thought of backing down. Doing the right thing isn’t about being popular, Julie Hoffman, a 48-year-old homeschooler and pastor’s wife from Corpus Christi, Texas, told me; you have to trust in the Lord that integrity and strength will be rewarded in the end.

I asked Tony Perkins, the veteran conservative activist who heads the Family Research Council, what way out of the shutdown he would consider acceptable. He said a delay of the health-care law’s individual mandate—a proposal already rejected by the Senate and president when the House passed it—was the absolute least conservatives would settle for, and that any deal that didn’t substantially affect Obamacare would inspire a revolt. “Ted Cruz has done more to help the Republican Party, I think, than anyone in the last 10 years,” he said, by “reengaging the people Republicans need to win elections.”

Do you care about the polls showing this is hurting the Republican Party? I asked. “No,” he said. “Who are they polling? Just GOP voters? No, the general public.” And what about the schism within the GOP that has resulted? “It’s long overdue,” Perkins said. “Where did that go-along, get-along view get us? Into a mess. It’s time to challenge the status quo.”

Meet the Beetles — Maddie Oatman at Mother Jones tells about the spread of a bug that is killing the evergreen forests of Colorado.

Mummy Range 07-08-2000Since the late 1990s, mountain pine beetles have swept through millions of acres of forest in the Rockies, turning hillsides of trees a rusty red and then grey as they populate trees and kill them. In Colorado, this outbreak seems to have peaked in 2008 and 2009; but just as one species slowed, another—the spruce beetle—has picked up steam. A new University of Colorado study published in Ecology reveals how drought was the driver of the rise in spruce beetle activity and resulting tree deaths in Colorado’s high-elevation forests in recent years. The drought is in turn linked to changes in sea surface temperatures that are expected to continue for decades to come. In the long-term, such massive insect infestations could dramatically diminish North American forests’ ability to retain water and sequester carbon—meaning trees will be less effective at balancing out the human toll on the environment.

So far, fewer acres of trees have been affected by spruce beetles than mountain pine beetles, but there are more spruce forests in Colorado than Lodgepole pine, so there’s “no reason to expect the percentage mortality to be less or acreage affected to be any less” than it was for the mountain pine beetle epidemic, said Tom Veblen, coauthor of the study and a geography professor at CU.

Lead author Sarah Hart remembers flying over British Colombia in 2007 and seeing endless stretches of red trees killed by mountain pine beetles. When she moved to Colorado, a spruce beetle outbreak had started to turn heads in the area, prompting her to look deeper into its underlying causes.

To analyze what was driving the recent spruce beetle explosion, the CU researchers compiled a 300-plus-year record of past outbreaks using tree ring data and historical documents like records from surveyors in the early 1900s. Warmer temperatures allow beetles to speed up their life cycles and expand in numbers. But “it was interesting that drought was a better predictor for spruce beetle outbreaks than temperature,” said Hart. Trees have natural defenses against these beetles; for one, they expel intruders with resin. During wetter periods like 1976-1998, the CU researchers noticed, spruce beetle outbreak was minimal because trees were likely more successful in pitching the beetles out, even as the bugs prospered in the warmth. Drought appears to weaken the trees’ defenses, making even healthy-seeming spruce susceptible to beetles desperate to get inside to feast and lay eggs. Since drought is likely to linger in the Southern Rockies in the near future, conditions are ripe for the beetles to continue their reign.

Doonesbury – Comeback

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sister Act

Via TPM:

Republican Senate Wyoming candidate Liz Cheney released a statement Friday saying she does not support same-sex marriage, even though Cheney’s sister is married to her longtime partner.

“I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage,” Cheney said in the statement according to CNN. “I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves.”

Cheney’s campaign said the statement on Friday is in response to a “push poll” of Wyoming voters asking whether they are aware that she “supports abortion and aggressively promotes gay marriage.”

Cheney is running in the 2014 Republican primary for Sen. Mike Enzi’s seat. Cheney’s sister, Mary, is married to Heather Poe, Mary’s longtime partner. Mary Cheney first publicly announced her sexuality in 2000, when Dick Cheney was then-Gov. George W. Bush’s nominee for vice president.

That must make for some interesting family dinners.

Dick Cheney is pro-marriage equality but didn’t say so when he was in office because he didn’t want to hurt the chances of Bush’s re-election.  Priorities, you know.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Grumpy Old Man

Speaking of chutzpah, former vice president Dick Cheney thinks Obama’s picks are “second-rate.”

Speaking before the Wyoming Republican Party, Cheney panned Obama’s recent picks, including new Secretary of State John Kerry, Pentagon nominee Chuck Hagel and CIA nominee John Brennan, according to a report from Associated Press.

“Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people,” Cheney said.

On Hagel, the former Republican senator from Nebraska, Cheney said Obama “wants to have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense.” Those plans, Cheney said, are to allow massive cuts to the defense budget which will hurt the United States’ military preparedness and place “limitations on future presidents.”

Cheney also blamed the administration’s policy toward the Middle East for increased turmoil in the region, citing Obama’s failure to reign in Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Hearing Dick Cheney criticize anyone for increasing turmoil in the Middle East is like hearing an alligator complain about someone else’s table manners.  There’s nothing like a little invasion of a sovereign nation based on lies and misinformation to get folks riled up.  And when we’re talking about second-rate, who appointed Michael Brown to FEMA, Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, and Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court?  Seriously?

He and John McCain should take a cottage by the sea together.

Via TPM.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cage Match: Cheney v. Palin

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News that picking Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate in 2008 was a mistake.

Dick Cheney has some advice for Mitt Romney on choosing a running mate: Don’t pick another Sarah Palin.

In his first interview since receiving a heart transplant in March, Cheney told ABC News, that John McCain’s decision to pick Palin as his running mate in 2008 was “a mistake” — one that it is important from Romney not to repeat.

It’s subject on which Cheney has some unique experience. He helped Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush lead their vice presidential searches and, of course, served as vice president for eight years. He’s also privately offered some advice to both Romney and Beth Myers, who is leading Romney’s search for a runningmate, on the process.

Cheney would not comment on what he told Romney and Myers, but he was harsh in his assessment of McCain’s decision to pick Palin.

“That one,” Cheney said, “I don’t think was well handled.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

Cheney believes Sarah Palin failed that test.

In the larger scope, this pits the two wings of the GOP wingnutosphere against each other: the Bushies vs. the Tea Partiers, and those are the elements that Mitt Romney has to please in his choice of running mate: someone who’s not going to scare off the independents, but someone who’s got enough cred with the birthers and baggers to keep them from going rogue. Good luck with that.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction to Cheney’s remark is from John McCain and Wasilla. I’m willing to bet that somehow they’re going to blame it on Barack Obama: if the Democrats hadn’t chosen that Ni-CLANG!, the McCain campaign wouldn’t have had to go with a game changer. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Cage Match: Cheney v. Palin

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News that picking Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate in 2008 was a mistake.

Dick Cheney has some advice for Mitt Romney on choosing a running mate: Don’t pick another Sarah Palin.

In his first interview since receiving a heart transplant in March, Cheney told ABC News, that John McCain’s decision to pick Palin as his running mate in 2008 was “a mistake” — one that it is important from Romney not to repeat.

It’s subject on which Cheney has some unique experience. He helped Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush lead their vice presidential searches and, of course, served as vice president for eight years. He’s also privately offered some advice to both Romney and Beth Myers, who is leading Romney’s search for a runningmate, on the process.

Cheney would not comment on what he told Romney and Myers, but he was harsh in his assessment of McCain’s decision to pick Palin.

“That one,” Cheney said, “I don’t think was well handled.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

Cheney believes Sarah Palin failed that test.

In the larger scope, this pits the two wings of the GOP wingnutosphere against each other: the Bushies vs. the Tea Partiers, and those are the elements that Mitt Romney has to please in his choice of running mate: someone who’s not going to scare off the independents, but someone who’s got enough cred with the birthers and baggers to keep them from going rogue. Good luck with that.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction to Cheney’s remark is from John McCain and Wasilla. I’m willing to bet that somehow they’re going to blame it on Barack Obama: if the Democrats hadn’t chosen that Ni-CLANG!, the McCain campaign wouldn’t have had to go with a game changer. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dick Cheney Gets Heart Transplant

Via MSNBC:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering Saturday at a Virginia hospital after receiving a heart transplant, his office said.

Cheney was in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, his office said in a statement.

Cheney, 71, who served as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, has had a long history of heart trouble and has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months.

“Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several close associates of the former vice president.

I am sure that there are plenty of jokes that people will make about this operation and the patient, but that’s not my style.

All I wish for him is a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Dick Cheney Gets Heart Transplant

Via MSNBC:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was recovering Saturday at a Virginia hospital after receiving a heart transplant, his office said.

Cheney was in the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, his office said in a statement.

Cheney, 71, who served as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, has had a long history of heart trouble and has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months.

“Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” aide Kara Ahern said in a written statement that was authenticated by several close associates of the former vice president.

I am sure that there are plenty of jokes that people will make about this operation and the patient, but that’s not my style.

All I wish for him is a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Terrifying Canadians

Here’s another entry in the Not From The Onion files:

TORONTO — Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous.

“He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high,” said Ryan Ruppert, president of promotions company Spectre Live Corp., which had booked Mr. Cheney for an April 24 appearance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“They specifically referenced what happened in Vancouver,” Mr, Ruppert added.

In September, Mr. Cheney was speaking at a private club in Vancouver when protesters massed outside the front door harassing ticket holders and in one instance, choking a security guard.

The former vice-president was reportedly held inside the building for more than seven hours as Vancouver Police in riot gear dispersed the demonstrators.

Cheney, who along with former President George W. Bush remains unpopular in Canada, had been slated to talk about his time in office and the current U.S. political landscape.

“God forbid there was ever an emergency,” said Ruppert, noting Cheney’s history of heart problems.

Yeah, some hoser might sneak up on him and yell “Boo!”

Do I really have to defend our friends in the True North? I know it’s a stereotype that the Canadian people are the nicest people on the planet, but that’s because it’s basically true. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that while they are a strong and free people with a national pride second to none — and a lot to be proud of — they don’t go around like a big bully presuming to know best how to run everyone else’s business.

The only reason Mr. Cheney is afraid to go to Toronto is that he won’t be treated with the sycophantic slobbering that he’s used to from his toadies here in the U.S.

Terrifying Canadians

Here’s another entry in the Not From The Onion files:

TORONTO — Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous.

“He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high,” said Ryan Ruppert, president of promotions company Spectre Live Corp., which had booked Mr. Cheney for an April 24 appearance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“They specifically referenced what happened in Vancouver,” Mr, Ruppert added.

In September, Mr. Cheney was speaking at a private club in Vancouver when protesters massed outside the front door harassing ticket holders and in one instance, choking a security guard.

The former vice-president was reportedly held inside the building for more than seven hours as Vancouver Police in riot gear dispersed the demonstrators.

Cheney, who along with former President George W. Bush remains unpopular in Canada, had been slated to talk about his time in office and the current U.S. political landscape.

“God forbid there was ever an emergency,” said Ruppert, noting Cheney’s history of heart problems.

Yeah, some hoser might sneak up on him and yell “Boo!”

Do I really have to defend our friends in the True North? I know it’s a stereotype that the Canadian people are the nicest people on the planet, but that’s because it’s basically true. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that while they are a strong and free people with a national pride second to none — and a lot to be proud of — they don’t go around like a big bully presuming to know best how to run everyone else’s business.

The only reason Mr. Cheney is afraid to go to Toronto is that he won’t be treated with the sycophantic slobbering that he’s used to from his toadies here in the U.S.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today’s Chuckle

Via Think Progress:

Citing Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009 in which he criticized the Bush administration for “overreacting to the events of 9/11″ and called for a ban on torture when “we [the Bush Administration] were never torturing anyone in the first place,” Cheney said he felt that Obama owes the Bush administration an apology. Insisting that enhanced interrogation techniques helped identify the location of Osama bin Laden, his daughter Liz Cheney added that “he slandered the nation” in Cairo and “he owes an apology to the American people”

I’m not sure which is funnier; that Dick Cheney insists the Bush administration never tortured anyone, or that Liz Cheney is actually complaining about hurt feelings.

What a riot.

Monday, September 12, 2011

But He Was Never Wrong

Bob Woodward notes that former Vice President Dick Cheney was the only one in the Bush administration that wanted to attack Syria in 2007 because they had built a nuclear reactor and he thought they were started a nuclear weapons program. Turns out the intelligence didn’t back up that theory, but he still wanted to bomb it anyway.

Two participants in the key National Security Council meeting in June 2007 said that after Cheney, the “lone voice,” made his arguments, Bush rolled his eyes.

Dr. Strangelove, call your office.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dick Cheney Defends Torture

Check out this video of former Vice President Dick Cheney being interviewed on the Today Show by Matt Lauer. In it he defends the use of waterboarding — which is defined as torture by every reputable government and signer of the Geneva conventions that isn’t ruled by a dictator — and he says that he doesn’t think our preemptive invasion of Iraq and the subsequent war has damaged our reputation.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


It’s not what he says that I find so disturbing; after all, he’s been saying it for years and, of course, he’s never made a mistake in his life. No, it’s the deranged Uncle Fester-like smirk as he says it that is just creepy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sorry Is for Suckers

Harry Whittington, the man who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in 2006 talked to Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about the experience and his life since.

Nearly five years on, Harry Whittington still speaks with a slight flutter in his voice — a “warble,” he calls it, inadvertently choosing a bird metaphor. His easy East Texas drawl changed forever one day in February 2006 when a tiny lead pellet pierced his larynx. It’s still there.

[...]

Four years ago, Whittington was on a quail hunt, walking in the tall grass of a South Texas ranch, when a fellow hunter wheeled on a winging bird and fired. The shot peppered Whittington in the face, neck and torso. The shooter was Dick Cheney, the vice president of the United States.

Eyewitnesses, including Cheney, said the shooting was accidental. Whittington doesn’t dispute that, but his memory of the event is limited only to his most immediate sensations. “All I remember was the smell of burning powder,” he says. “And then I passed out.”

Paramedics rushed the bleeding and unconscious Whittington to a hospital in tiny Kingsville, Tex. Doctors deemed his injuries serious enough to transfer him via helicopter to larger hospital in Corpus Christi, about 40 miles away.

No one in the vice president’s entourage said a word about it publicly until the next morning, when Katharine Armstrong, the daughter of the ranch’s owner, spoke with a reporter from a local newspaper. Armstrong blamed Whittington for blundering into Cheney’s line of fire, a comment that White House spokesman Scott McClellan repeated later that day. Investigators didn’t speak to Cheney until the next morning, and Cheney didn’t address the issue in public until four days later. In a TV interview on Fox News back in Washington, he took responsibility for the shooting (“Ultimately, I am the guy who pulled the trigger… “) but offered no apologies.

And he never has. Because when you’re a Dick, you don’t have to.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Short Takes

Pakistanis are frustrated at the slow response by the government after devastating and deadly floods.

BP is preparing to plug the leaking well in the Gulf for good.

Dick Cheney is still in the hospital recovering from his heart surgery last month.

Another Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), faces ethics charges. But what about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)?

Your BlackBerry won’t work in the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia now.

On My No-Fly List: Spirit Airlines now charges $45 for carry-on luggage.

Tropical Update: This could become Tropical Storm Colin, but if the models are right, South Florida won’t have to worry about being Colinized.

The Tigers continue the slump, losing again in the ninth to the Red Sox.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dick Cheney’s Future

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has had a procedure to install a device to keep his heart going.

The kind of heart pump that Cheney received can be implanted next to the heart to help its main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, pump blood through the body. Such devices are used mainly for short periods, to buy potential transplant candidates time as they await a donor organ.

But they are being studied for use as a permanent therapy for people with severe heart failure who aren’t transplant candidates.

About 5 million Americans have congestive heart failure, where the heart weakens over time — often as a result of heart attacks — and cannot pump enough blood. Heart transplants are one solution, but few patients find a donor and many are too old or sick for a transplant.

Cheney said a few weeks ago it became clear he was “entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure.”

It’s safe to say, then, that Mr. Cheney is not looking at a full recovery.

Say what you will about the man — and I’ve said plenty, including the sincerest wish that he had found some other line of work in his life, like selling shoes — but it’s low-class and wrong to wish ill health and death on anyone. If we can’t separate the person from the politics and not have some compassion for the pain and the grief a family goes through when they’re faced with a gloomy prognosis, then we’re no better than the intolerant and vicious lunatic out there who calls for the death of their enemies. There are some supporters of Mr. Cheney who would not return the favor if it was Bill Clinton or Al Gore who faced this prospect, but that doesn’t make it right, and it gives those of us who were his opponents the moment to show something they never had: class and dignity.