Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Even the liberal New York Times is questioning President Obama's promise of transparency. A Times editorial from September 5, 2009 says: "White House officials are now proposing deep revisions to a Senate Judiciary Committee bill that weaken protections against forcing reporters to reveal their sources."
The Times says a shield law to protect journalists is necessary, but that the White House wants judges to defer to the administration's view of what constitutes a security leak: "The executive branch would arrogate power to decide the public's right to know by crimping the news media's ability to make a case for disclosure. The latest hedging from the White House does not deliver on his promise for a new era of openness."
Although the Dalai Lama made no secret of his desire to meet with the president during his visit to Washington this week, the White House says the meeting will not happen until after President Obama's trip to China next month. It is the first time since 1991 that a sitting U.S. president will not meet with the Dalai Lama during a U.S. visit.
The Washington Post reports from an anonymous source: "In an attempt to gain favor with China, the United States pressured Tibetan representatives to postpone."
China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist and has intensified its desire to isolate him. An administration official denies the Dalai Lama sought a meeting with the president this month and said that assuming a meeting had been postponed was "counter-factual."
Thing of the Past?
Could Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vitriolic attacks on Jews be an attempt to cover his own past?
The London Telegraph contends that a photo of Ahmadinejad holding up his identity card last year shows his family has Jewish roots. The card suggests he was previously known by a Jewish name meaning "cloth weaver."
The report says Ahmadinejad's family changed its name and converted to Islam after his birth. Ahmadinejad was even pressed on the issue during a presidential debate this summer and later an Iranian Internet blogger was arrested after calling for an investigation into his background. But a Middle East analyst who wrote an Ahmadinejad biography insists he has no Jewish roots.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.