Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tubbs Jones passes, a second lightning Bolt and Jewish bloggers

I learned right away of the importance of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones when I was living in Cleveland. A tireless fighter for her constituents, she was a true pioneer as both an African-American and a woman. Tubbs Jones was the first African-American woman to serve as a judge, a Cuyahoga County prosecutor of note and a five-term U.S. Representative elected to serve Ohio's 11th District since 1998. She was in fact the first African-American woman to represent Ohio in Congress.The tributes to Tubbs Jones have been pouring in from a poignant remembrance by Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz to a number of state and national figures since she passed away yesterday evening. Her passing, attributed to a brain aneurysm, has been termed "an incalculable loss" by fellow Clevelander and former mayor Dennis Kucinich. Tubbs Jones spoke before both the 2000 and 2004 Democratic National Conventions and was a co-chairman of the 2004 platform committee. Despite being quite close with Senator Barack Obama, she was Hillary Clinton's biggest advocate in Ohio. Tubbs Jones chaired the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (commonly referred to as theEthics Committee) and, as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, actively campaigned against the Iraqi war, tax cuts and changes in Social Security proposed by the Bush administration. Tubbs Jones won re-election in 2006 by over 83% of the electorate and was running unopposed. She was predeceased by her husband of 27 years, Mervyn Leroy Jones, Sr., and is survived by her son, Mervyn Leroy Jones II.
Lightning strikes again: Usaim Bolt was even more impressive than in his 100-meter dash when he rewrote the world record book again by besting Michael Johnson's gold shoe 200-meter race mark in 0:19:30. Frankly, I think he may be able to shave another one or two one-hundredths of a second off that mark. He is incredible and just another one of the reasons that I will miss the expanded Olympic coverage from NBC and affiliated stations that is fast winding down.
Meanwhile, the U.S. women's softball team, fresh from two hard-fought wins against Japan, lost the gold medal game against them today in what could be the last Olympic softball game. Softball, a women-only sport (men compete in baseball) made its Olympic debut in 1996 in Atlanta. It was voted off the 2012 Olympics program slated for London by a vote of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in 2005 that was reaffirmed in 2006. Another vote to consider reinstituting the sport on the Olympics program is slated for next year. If it does not win approval from the IOC, softball will probably not return again.
Yesterday's first ever International Jewish Bloggers Convention streamed over the Internet live from Jerusalem had its problems with dropouts, picture loss and loss of audio. Nevertheless, I was captivated by the strength of the program, which included an opening address by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a packed house of Jewish bloggers. The bloggers were all committed to promoting the concept of blogging and their blogs in particular. All in all it was very satisfying and allowed me to put a face on some of the major players in Jewish blogging in both Israel and North America. Kudos to Nefesh B'Nefesh for putting it on. Next year in Jerusalem? Who knows?

No comments: