Fat Steve's Blatherings

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Egg on my Face

      Well, I was wrong.

      Not completely, which comforts me slightly.  The "Schiavo Memo" did start out as the talking points from Senator Martinez, as I thought.  They apparently were altered by an aide, as I thought.  Possibly, those original talking points were the only version that circulated on the Senate floor.  Sen. Harkin was the Democrat's source for the memo, and was reluctant to talk about it.

      But it wasn't a Democratic aide.  One of Martinez's aides, Brian Darling, says he, Darling, added the political considerations to the Martinez talking points.  Then somehow (this is still murky, and frankly, suspicious) Martinez ended up with a copy.  According to Martinez, he didn't read this particular copy, but was carrying it around in his pocket.  When Harkin asked Martinez about the Schiavo bill, Martinez gave him the memo, thinking it was the talking points.

      So, is this the straight dope?  Did Darling do this without telling his boss, or is he sacrificing himself to save Martinez?  And what's up with Harkin?  He appears to have been the source of the memo for the Democrats.  He could have said a while back 'I was handed the memo by Sen. Martinez.'  Why didn't he?

      And recall, the first version of the memo, the one ABC News reprinted, had several spelling errors.  Some of the errors were corrected in a second version, which was leaked to Raw Story.  Who did that version come from?  According to John Little, Martinez's chief of staff, Darling didn't think he ever printed out either version of the memo.  So who did?

      This thing is not adding up.  The question now is, will anyone pursue the story further?



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