By Haddon Libby

For those of you who don’t know who Andy Rooney is, he had a three-minute commentary piece at the end of the television program 60 Minutes for thirty-three years until just before his death five years ago at the age of ninety-two.  His segments were rich in satire and observations of everyday annoyances.

Here is my homage to Mr. Rooney…

We are quickly approaching the end of Black History Month.  Given that Blacks make up about 12% of the American population, it makes sense that we would give them a month-long celebration.  It’s the least we can do after slavery and all.

Hispanics make up 17% of our ‘legal’ population but they don’t have a month or two in their honor.  I wonder why.  All they get is Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st and that’s not even a holiday.  Maybe we can give Hispanics the month of May and half of June and use the rest of the month to celebrate Americans of Asian descent.  I think they might like that.

While I’m at it, 5% of all Americans have been in prison. Did you ever wonder why one in three black males can expect to spend time in jail yet almost no one from the mortgage fraud crisis ended up in jail?  I don’t think this is a black or white issue – it’s more of a green issue.  Those with money and power seem to play by a different set of rules, don’t ‘cha think?

I’m told that you can find a depressed Angelo Mozilo, the disgraced head of Countrywide, wandering around the ultra-exclusive Madison Club in La Quinta.  Supposedly, he is upset that many of his old friends don’t want to be around him anymore.

Poor fella.  Too bad I don’t feel sorry for him.

I also want to feel sorry for Martin Dolemo and his Saxony Group.  He is that guy who rents lots of billboards.  While he seems awfully good at self-promotion and proclamations as to his development prowess, not a lot gets done.  In case you don’t remember, he has announced a Fashion Center and a Convention Center and some Grand Valley project and a Mortgage Company and a Commercial Real Estate something or another and some kind of Film Production Studio and 14,000 new jobs and a four star hotel in downtown Cathedral City and, well, I’m sure there is more.

Where does someone get the money to fail so often like that?  I read on that Internet Google thing that Dolemo had a billion dollar project in Calgary that never got done.  If I were him, I’d go a little bit under the radar for a while and try and get something done.

People talk.  That’s all I’m saying.

Lastly, what’s the deal with that treaty that President Obama wants to sign that ‘levels the economic playing field’ with a number of poor Asian nations?  I don’t know about you but I’m thinking that American workers are going to have an awfully hard time competing against $0.50 an hour workers.  I’m sure the big corporations like it.  That treaty is downright Republican of the President.  I doubt that will help in getting through a replacement to Supreme Court Justice Scalia.

Still, we should trust those in power to do what’s best for you and me.  I won’t even bring up the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments as we are still in Black History Month and basking in the glow of Valentine’s Day.  If you want to know more about that forty year-long secret government test that allowed syphilitic black men to suffer, use that Internet Google thing.

Haddon Libby is Managing Director of Winslow Drake, an investment advisory firm and can be reached at or 213.596.8399. 

Andy-Rooney quote