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TOKYO (AP) — A grandson of ex-U.S. President Harry Truman, who ordered the atomic bombings of Japan during World War II, is in Hiroshima to attend a memorial service for the victims.

Clifton Truman Daniel visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Saturday and laid a wreath for the 140,000 people killed by the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing authorized by his grandfather. Another atomic blast in Nagasaki three days later killed 70,000 more.

“I think this cenotaph says it all — to honor the dead to not forget and to make sure that we never let this happen again,” Daniel said after offering a silent prayer.

Daniel is in Japan to attend ceremonies next week in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marking the 67th anniversary of the bombings. His visit, the first by a member of the Truman family, is sponsored by the peace group Sadako Legacy, named after Sadako Sasaki, an A-bomb victim who died of leukemia at age 12. While in the hospital, Sadako folded hundreds of paper cranes after hearing a legend that people who make 1,000 origami cranes can be granted a wish. Origami cranes have since become a symbol of peace.

Daniel met Sadako’s 71-year-old brother, Masahiro Sasaki, who survived the bombing, at a peace event in New York in 2010. They agreed to work together to deepen understanding between the two countries, which are still divided over the question of the legitimacy of the atomic attacks.

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FDR gave us the NEW DEAL

Truman, the Square Deal

Now Obama gives us the “Big F****** Deal”

After decades of struggle and months of political in-fighting, Barack Obama stood poised to sign into law historic reforms to America’s healthcare system. But first his vice-president had to have his foot removed from his mouth.

At a White House ceremony for Obama to seal passage of the legislation by giving it his signature, vice-president Joe Biden gave an introduction praising Obama’s leadership. “Mr President, you’re the guy that made it happen,” he said, before embracing Obama and excitedly whispering in his ear: “This is a big fucking deal!” The aside may have been meant for Obama’s ears alone but it was picked up the microphone on the podium and broadcast to the watching television audience of millions.

Applause drowned out Biden’s comment to the dignitaries in the East Room but the reaction on blogs and cable news channels was instantaneous. “The vice-president used a word that most of us would never use in front of our mother,” said CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, explaining why his network bleeped out the remark in its replays. Ben Smith, a blogger for the Politico website, labelled it: “The mother of all Biden moments.”

Shortly after, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs embraced Biden’s slip, by writing on Twitter: “And yes, Mr Vice President, you’re right.”

     Even if Barack Obama gets some legislation to sign as health care reform, the basic tenets of it will not be effective until AFTER the next President is elected, whether it be Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, or Hillary Clinton. But in our “want it now” mind set, that may cause the Democrats some problems:

Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won’t start flowing until 2013 — after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately.

The eat-your-vegetables-first approach is causing heartburn for some Democrats. Three years is a long time to wait for dessert, and opponents could capitalize on misgivings about the complex legislation to undo what would be a signature achievement for Obama.

“The real danger is that health reform could be vulnerable to what we see with the stimulus package,” said Democratic health policy consultant Peter Harbage, referring to criticism that Obama’s $787 billion economic plan hasn’t stemmed rising unemployment. “There needs to be more focus on what can you do quickly so that real people will start seeing change sooner, rather than later.”

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