Five of the most interesting stories for Sept. 1: The lackluster Obama speech, amazing Federer shot, Murkowski concession, and more

1. Obama lavishes praise on Bush (well, not really): The president’s commendation of Bush was something like telling your buddy that his new girlfriend has a “nice personality.” Mike Gerson wrote in the Washington Post:

Obama’s mention of Bush was prominent, but not particularly gracious. He said that “no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security” – as though any of those things were in doubt. Obama could not 4. bring himself to praise Bush for the surge strategy that made last night’s speech possible.

2. The Federer trick shot at U.S. Open:  Don’t try this at home.

3. Murkowski concedes to Miller in Alaska GOP primary: This is another one of those Palin/tea party victories, which are piling up around the country. L.A. Times reports:

She becomes the third senator this year whose reelection bid did not get past the primary. Pennsylvania Democrats rejected Sen. Arlen Specter after he switched parties, and Utah Sen. Robert F. Bennett failed to qualify for the ballot at the state Republican convention.

4. Words and Music by Ignat Solzhenitsyn, the son of Aleksandr. Powerline follows his schedule; next in Minneapolis Sept 14.

His lecture was so good, so absorbing, as to be spellbinding: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn led a great, brave, and heroic life. Also a very important one. You don’t need to dress it up: You can simply relate the facts. And that’s what Ignat did. About an hour after the lecture, he played Schubert’s Sonata in D major — a long, profound, thoroughly Schubertian work. And then we had a little Q&A. It was a tremendously rewarding day.

5. Creative artmaking: Creating is not a purely enjoyable experience; it can produce fear: Margaret Feinberg writes:

Creativity-whatever form it takesforces you to face your wide selection of fears. As I write, I find I must stare down countless fears. Fears of creating something ugly. Fears of creating something I don’t like (or anyone else for that matter). Fears of placing so much of myself in a creation I won’t have anything left. Fears of success and acclaim, failure and anonymity. Fear tethers yet compels. Fear buries and exposes. Fear is both friend and foe when it comes to creating art.


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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