Sunday, August 30, 2009

Florida Diamond Trade

In the second half of 2008, the last hurrah for Diamond Ventures, investors thought they were compounding their money at 3.5 percent or more each month and that Diamond was not only immune to the world financial turmoil, but a beneficiary.

Investor Andrea Stone asked Diamond on Sept. 26 about how the "global meltdown" was affecting his trading.

"The only impact it has is causing additional movement in the currencies, which is great for us," Diamond responded by e-mail. "Remember that all we need is movement, in either direction."

But Diamond -- rather than cautiously setting up small trades -- appears to have been gambling heavily on currency markets in a desperate stab at getting back in the black. For a while, he had three accounts at three brokerage firms.

Diamond had winning streaks. Starting on Oct. 10 in one account, he took $640,000 and ran it up to $5.16 million by Nov. 5. On one day alone, he gained $872,000. But then he incurred a string of losses, and, by Nov. 28, the account had only $2,000.

So far, the Bradenton lawyers have found that Diamond took in $38 million, but acknowledge it could be more.

To keep investors coming, Diamond paid out as much as $18.5 million. Trading records show he lost $14.4 million.

The lawyers can see that Diamond spent $2 million on himself or his friends and work associates. There are many unexplained transfers as well.

As November turned into December, investors used to collecting large monthly returns noticed that the flow had stopped. Diamond blamed Bank of America, saying he would switch banks before the January pay-out was due. #

From the "Shocked, I'm Shocked" Dept.:

I Cristen thee Senator LeMieux

Be sure to click:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Discerning Vern

Buchanan (at 5:05) agrees with antisemitic demagogue who calls Obama's staff "lowlifes, thugs and thieves":

George LeMieux is who?

  • George LeMieux is a fierce Charlie Crist loyalist seen as the Karl Rove of Crist’s election campaign (without the association to dirty tricks)
  • His appointment helps Crist’s election chances because it doesn’t create a rival for the seat nor does it put someone in the position with radically different views – it’s the closest thing to Crist appointing himself
  • He was a key figure in the negotiations of the U.S. Sugar Deal and the Seminole Gambling Pact
  • He is a former registered lobbyist who is not currently lobbying in an official capacity, although some claim he still is doing lobbying
  • He is relatively scandal-free, although he was taped on an undercover wire talking to convicted scammer Joel Steinger – contents of those wiretaps are not public at this point, it seems
  • Some Republican operatives worry that LeMieux might have some skeletons hidden in his closet (such as the Steinger wiretaps and other clients)
  • On the issues, he refers to himself as a “Charlie Crist Republican.”
  • He interned for Congressman E. Clay Shaw, Jr. and U.S. Senator Connie Mack III. In 1994, he joined the law firm of Gunster Yoakley & Stewart P.A. in its Fort Lauderdale office. LeMieux is an AV-rated attorney, and is board certified in business litigation.
  • As chairman of the Tallahassee law firm Gunster, Yoakley, LeMieux has been close to major policies of the governor. That firm brokered the deal with U.S. Sugar for the mammoth (and deeply flawed) Everglades purchase. Currently, LeMieux is in the thick of negotiations for a compact with the Seminole Tribe.
  • LeMieux believes legislative inflexibility could lead to a failed deal.

    ``What's at stake here is whether we are going to have limited gaming in Florida,'' he said. ``If we do not approve a compact, I'm concerned the future of Florida is casinos in every part of our state.''

    John McCain's campaign is returning $50,000 of donations collected by a prominent Palm Beach County fund-raiser after questions were raised Thursday about how much a foreign national may have contributed.

    Harry Sargeant III, the Republican Party of Florida finance chairman and part owner of a Boca Raton-based oil trading firm, has been credited with collecting more than $500,000 for McCain.

    But about $50,000 of those contributions reportedly were solicited by Mustafa Abu Naba'a, Sargeant's Jordanian business partner at International Oil Trading Co.


    Sargeant, of Gulf Stream, is among 53 bundlers McCain has in Florida - more than he has in any state other than New York and California - who have combined to raise at least $9.2 million for the Arizona Republican this year. Obama has 23 bundlers in Florida who have collected at least $2.75 million.

    Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign collected at least $5,000 in 2006 from the same group of Californians that McCain's campaign is questioning. The Federal Election Campaign Act that prevents foreign nationals from participating in federal campaigns also applies to state and local candidates.

    George LeMieux, Crist's campaign manager at the time, said he was not planning to review those donations.

    "The elections process is not perfect," LeMieux said. "There has to be some trust in the process. And we feel comfortable that the process we had in place at the time was as diligent and professional as it could be."

    Among his civic and charitable commitments, LeMieux was the Chairman of the Broward County Republican Party, Chairman of the Jeb Bush Re-election campaign, Republican nominee for the Florida House of Representatives – District 92, and served on the City of Fort Lauderdale Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board. He has been a director for Goodwill of Broward County, as well as Riverwalk, Inc., and a trustee for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. In 2002 he was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Broward County by Gold Coast Magazine, and 20 People on the Fast Track by Fast Track Magazine.

  • Friday, August 21, 2009

    "It may be mail fraud" - or astroturf fraud

    AMY GOODMAN: This information, the companies trying to get out their workers to protest the climate bill in these last weeks of the congressional recess, comes after the Times exposed a public relations firm hired by the pro-coal industry group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, recently sent out at least fifty-eight letters opposing new climate laws to members of Congress. An investigation by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming found a total of thirteen letters sent by the firm Bonner & Associates were forgeries. The committee is currently investigating another forty-five that were determined to be fake. The letters purported to be from groups like the NAACP and Latino groups, as well. Kert Davies, what do you know about this?

    KERT DAVIES: Key point. This is not the American Petroleum Institute alone. So, big coal, who played nice, who played white hat with the Waxman-Markey team and got what they wanted in the bill, is also attacking the bill, going at it from all sides. So, they actually would love to defeat the bill in the end, but they’d love to appear to be playing nice.

    That campaign is so underhanded and despicable, to pose as the NAACP and send a letter to a congressman saying you oppose a piece of legislation. Imagine if Greenpeace sent a letter posing as the American Petroleum Institute supporting legislation. It may be mail fraud. It may be—there are a number of laws that may have been broken here. And I think the truth is yet to be known on the extent of it and who was behind it. Democracy Now, 8.21.09

    Happy Daze in Sunshine State

    Florida's frightened grannies are sweet incense to Buchanan's Nostrils

    Clearly Congressman Vern Buchanan likes to take the high road, meeting with a true plurality of his constituents, bringing solid information, exploring the deeper and more complex issues with accuracy, sharp analytical skills, and the courage to put honest, hard-won proposals out there for discussion. Those who attend his "Town Hall Meetings" are among the highest percentile of the geniuses who dwell and defend the Penile state from any and all random acts of intelligence. Let's have more CongrAssHats like Vern Buchanan:

    Health proposal's critics find voice at local forum

    There was no unified showing of Democrats, perhaps partly because the event was organized only two days in advance.
    There was some party building, with cheers of support for comments including calling the president's advisers "lowlifes, thugs and thieves." More cheers came whenever someone likened the Democrat-proposed health care reforms to socialism.

    The crowd clapped for a man who said the proposals were "the president blowing smoke up our butt."

    At every turn the signs went up:


    "Stop socialism now!"

    "I love my grandma!"

    "Thank you veterans!"


    Wendy Grassi, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood, left early and called it "one of the most depressing forums I've ever seen."

    "It was full of wrong information and nobody was correcting it," Grassi said.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Penile State Enhances Genius Status

    Panel: Florida foreclosures need mediation - ‎2 hours ago‎
    The enormous increase in foreclosure filings has overwhelmed the resources of judges and courts in many state circuit courts in Florida, a new report from ...

    Orlando July foreclosures up 37% - Christopher Boyd - ‎Aug 12, 2009‎
    The area had 6667 foreclosures in June. Florida's foreclosure volume was second only to California in July as 56486 Florida dwellings went into foreclosure ...

    Florida's First Population Decline Since 1946 Squeezes Budget

    Bloomberg - Jerry Hart - ‎2 hours ago‎
    “Housing-value declines, high foreclosure rates and high unemployment are also likely to affect discretionary spending and, therefore, sales tax revenues. ...

    Mortgage deliquency rate hits all time high in 2Q

    The Associated Press - Eileen Aj Connelly - ‎Aug 17, 2009‎
    ... Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California remained the four states with the highest deliquency rates, mirroring the locations where foreclosures are the ...

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Vern Buchanan speaks - no Dems, thank you

    Don't bother planning to meet your elected representative, Vern Buchanan, at this event if you're a Democrat:

    19 August, Wednesday 7 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM) - Republican Club of South Sarasota County will hold the second of its Summer Evening Series of Guest Speakers . This special event will feature Congressman Vern Buchanan and will be held at the South Venice Civic Association Clubhouse, 720 Alligator Drive. (west of Rt. 41, 3 lights south of Shamrock). Light refreshments will be served. Independents, Conservatives and Republicans of all ages are welcomed to attend. Information call: 486-1414 or The Republican Club of South Sarasota County will hold a STRAW POLL BALLOT for the Florida US Senate GOP primary election candidates at this meeting.

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    These people will soon be senior citizens


    In Florida alone, 850 people lose their coverage every day. And for those with insurance, yearly premiums will hit $21,779 in a few years if we don't act.

    We can't let right-wing extremists ruin the biggest opportunity in a generation to get real reform. Can you send a quick letter to the editor of The Sarasota Herald-Tribune—or another local paper—about the urgent need in Florida for Congress to pass health care reform with a real public option?

    Click here:

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    The shacks are slidin' down

    High water risin' - risin' night and day
    All the gold and silver are being stolen away
    Big Joe Turner lookin' East and West
    From the dark room of his mind
    He made it to Kansas City
    Twelfth Street and Vine
    Nothing standing there
    High water everywhere

    High water risin', the shacks are slidin' down
    Folks lose their possessions - folks are leaving town

    Bertha Mason shook it - broke it
    Then she hung it on a wall
    Says, "You're dancin' with whom they tell you to
    Or you don't dance at all."
    It's tough out there
    High water everywhere

    I got a cravin' love for blazing speed
    Got a hopped up Mustang Ford
    Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties overboard
    I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind
    I'm no pig without a wig
    I hope you treat me kind
    Things are breakin' up out there
    High water everywhere

    High water risin', six inches 'bove my head
    Coffins droppin' in the street
    Like balloons made out of lead
    Water pourin' into Vicksburg, don't know what I'm going to do
    "Don't reach out for me," she said
    "Can't you see I'm drownin' too?"
    It's rough out there
    High water everywhere

    Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew
    "You can't open your mind, boys
    To every conceivable point of view."
    They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway Five
    Judge says to the High Sheriff,
    "I want him dead or alive
    Either one, I don't care."
    High Water everywhere

    The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies
    I'm preachin' the Word of God
    I'm puttin' out your eyes
    I asked Fat Nancy for something to eat, she said, "Take it off the shelf -
    As great as you are a man,
    You'll never be greater than yourself."
    I told her I didn't really care
    High water everywhere

    I'm getting' up in the morning - I believe I'll dust my broom
    Keeping away from the women
    I'm givin' 'em lots of room
    Thunder rolling over Clarksdale, everything is looking blue
    I just can't be happy, love
    Unless you're happy too
    It's bad out there
    High water everywhere

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    For a Birther near You

    Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: One, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other, a growing majority, is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. In this “other society,” serious film and theatre, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins.