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And the Horse He Rode In On

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

Allow me to be brutally honest here; I am elated Roy Moore lost the U.S. Senate race in Alabama.

While there are plenty of reasons that, just like a school playground, Roy Moore should have never been allowed near an elected office, my primary one is that I have this thing about accused child molesters, like most sane people, I am not a big fan.

Luckily the majority of Alabama voters agreed.   To retweet Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, “decency wins”.

Roy Moore represented everything that is wrong with politics.  As a Supreme Court Justice, Moore ignored the rule of law and was removed from the court twice.   He was kicked off the bench in 2003 because he ignored a federal court order to remove the ten commandments from the Alabama Judicial building and he was removed again in 2016 for directing state judges to disregard an unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Most conservatives say they don’t like activist judges and Moore was the epitome of an activist who frequently mixed God with politics.

But we know what did Moore in, it was the allegations that he molested a 14-year old, among others.

I like a 14-year old too, but it’s in the form of a bottle of scotch.

So who gets the credit for the Moore defeat?   You have to give credit to the African-American community that came out in droves, and you have to give credit to those Republican voters who, while they could not bring themselves to vote for Democrat Doug Jones, but decided to write-in someone else.  Nearly 23,000 of them decided to go for decency than someone who had been kicked off the Supreme Court and banned from the food court.

See, Democrats and Republicans can work together for the greater good.

And at the end of the day, I think we can both take comfort in the fact that Roy Moore took it on the chin and the Alabama voters sent him a message, thanks, but no thanks..

I have two words for Roy Moore, but I can’t say them here, but I can tell you not only do they apply to Moore, but the horse he rode in on as well.

 

Our Survey Said…

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

While nearly half the participants in our latest Indy Politics informal survey this week said Democrat Joe Donnelly should not be re-elected to the U.S. Senate, a plurality wanted someone other the current three frontrunners.

More than 650 of our  readers responded to the Indy Politics Political Pulse (made possible in part with underwriting from Winner’s Circle, the Institute for Quality Education and Indianapolis Public Schools)

About 48 percent of respondents did not think Joe Donnelly should be re-elected to the U.S. Senate, but nearly 40 percent third thought someone other than Congressmen Todd Rokita, Luke Messer or Mike Braun would be a stronger challenger.

Respondents were split on how well President Donald Trump was doing regarding his first year in office, but they gave high marks to Governor Eric Holcomb.

Here are some of the highlights…

  • Forty-five percent of the respondents gave President Donald Trump’s performance a “D” or “F”. Eight percent gave him an “A”, 25 percent gave him a “B” and 17 percent gave him a “C”.
  • Nearly 68 percent gave Governor Eric Holcomb’s performance a grade of “B” or better.
  • More than 22 percent thought the state’s top priority in 2018 should be staying fiscally sound, and 65 percent thought the best way to improve Indiana’s workforce was through job training and education.
  • Nearly 77 percent supported cold beer sales at convenience and grocery stores as well as Sunday retail alcohol sales.
  • When asked which Republican would be best suited to take on Joe Donnelly in the fall, nearly 40 percent wanted someone other than the three leading candidates.   Nearly 25 percent said Luke Messer,  19 percent said Todd Rokita, and 16 percent said, Mike Braun.
  • A total of 80 percent thought marijuana should be legalized for either recreational or medicinal purposes.
  • Respondents were nearly split on whether Indiana needed a “hate crime” law, 43 percent said no, 39 percent said yes, 14 percent said they were not sure.

You can view the full details here, as well as comments made by the participants.  We will do another informal survey in the Spring.

Share Your Thoughts

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

We’re doing an informal political survey on my other website, Indy Politics.

If you get a few seconds, give it a try.  We’d love your opinions.

CLICK HERE.

 

Ten Reasons to Be Thankful

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

Although Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are in the shopping phase of the holiday season, I couldn’t let too much time go by without jotting down a few thoughts on being thankful.

  1. First and foremost, if you can read this, you should be thankful, that means you’re literate.
  2. You are likely reading this on your phone, tablet or computer which says you can afford a phone, tablet or computer.
  3. If you’re reading this at work, that means you have a job.  If you’re reading this at home that means you have a roof over your head.
  4. If you’re reading this in the car (Hopefully you aren’t driving), that means you have transportation.
  5. If you’re reading this after breakfast, lunch or dinner, that means you have food on the table.
  6. If you’re reading this while standing in line at the store, that means you have an income that you should be thankful for.
  7. Since this is online, that means you have internet access, which you should also be thankful.
  8. Most of my work is read by educated people, so be thankful you got a good education.
  9. A good chunk of the audience reading this tends to disagree with a lot of what I write, so they should be thankful that we live in a country where you can have a dissenting opinion.
  10. If you’re on social media, you should be thankful that things are going so well in your life you can whine about things that don’t matter, the people responsible for them, and that you have no control over.

 

What Women (And Men) Don’t Want

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

Like a lot of you, I find allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore alarming.  I find it even more disturbing that there are people who think molesting a child is fine as long as that individual isn’t running for public office as a Democrat.  And we are not going to play the “what about” game where you insert the name of someone whose politics you don’t agree with as justification for someone else’s bad behavior.    What will I entertain however is the question as to why didn’t Moore’s alleged victims come forward sooner?    To someone unfamiliar with the impact that sexual abuse and assault have on the victim, I can see how that’s a fair question.  And it’s a question I’ve been asking a lot of victims lately.

I recently put out a request in my social media circles asking if anyone had been on the receiving end of sexually inappropriate conduct and how they dealt with it.   I can honestly say the answers ran the entire spectrum and gender was not an issue.  I heard from women accosted by men, men accosted by women and there were even instances where both the victim and perpetrator were of the same sex.

I spoke with people in the service industry who’d been touched by patrons.  Some people were accosted by superiors either at work or work-related functions.  A close friend was smacked on the rear end by her boss in front of two other male employees.   And even one person was put in a very uncomfortable situation by an elected official while on an out of state trip back in the 1970s, and both were the same gender.  There also some examples that I can’t print without getting really graphic.

When asked how they dealt with the situations, I noticed a distinct pattern.   If it was a customer service relationship, the response was usually pretty quick and swift and involved a witty retort.  Most customers took the hint and backed off; the more aggressive ones were immediately escorted out of the building.  If it was a boss-employee relationship, it got a little more complicated.  Many of the victims were young or just starting their careers and perpetrators were usually people who were higher up in the company structure.

For example, one close friend back in the early 90s was grouped in an elevator by a company Vice-President.  Another colleague was “encouraged” to be more “cooperative” if she wanted to get ahead in the company structure.  And one male victim was invited to a company function, but it turned out he was the only one who got the invitation from his female boss.   So why not report the bad behavior?  The reasons are numerous.

One common thread was that many of the victims didn’t think anyone would believe them.  Think about this; a 24-year old new female employee accuses the company V.P. of sexual harassment in the 1980s or early 90s?  Who is seriously going to believe her?

Also, many victims at times will blame themselves for the behavior, and thinking had they done something different, the incident would not have occurred.  As an attorney, I helped a young lady a few years ago deal with a similar situation after being attacked while at school.    The hardest part of helping her was convincing her she did nothing wrong and her attacker was the bad actor.

And when it comes to children and teenagers, take these issues a multiply it by a thousand times.

It’s abundantly clear that Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken and Kevin Spacey have raised new awareness about sexual predators and misconduct.    The challenge now is where do we go from here?  A friend who had been on the receiving end of this behavior made a very salient point to me last week.  She says as more people come forward, it will raise more awareness about the issue and by doing so, more victims will come forward sooner and report inappropriate behavior and maybe, just maybe, it will encourage all of us to behave a little better because we know some things are just unacceptable.

That would be something both men and women want.

Clay’s Coup D’etat

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

Indianapolis City-City County Stephen Clay wants to be Council President, and even though Maggie Lewis has that job, Clay is working to take it from her.

After numerous background discussions with both Republicans and Democrats over at the City-County building, we’ve been able to piece together what exactly is going on.

Clay has consistently coveted Lewis’ job, there have been several failed attempts in the past but he could not muster enough support among his fellow Democrats.  Now, sources tell us, he is trying to garner Republican support to do it.

There is a precedent for this.  Back in 2005, then Councilor Steve Talley got the Republican minority to vote for him and ousted then-President Rosell Boyd.

Indy Politics is told Clay has repeatedly attempted to undermine Lewis’ leadership, even going so far as to challenge her appointments to Boards and Commissions.

Clay’s supporters in the past have included Monroe Gray, Duke Oliver, Joe Simpson and LaKeisha Jackson.  He would only need the votes of eight Republicans to become President.

Republicans tell Indy Politics that he has not formally reached out to anyone in their caucus, yet.   If Clay became President he would make committee assignments and he reportedly wants to remove Leroy Robinson as the chairman of Public Safety and Vop Osili as the head of Metropolitan and Economic Development.

It is unlikely Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, a fellow Democrat, would get in the middle of this fight, as the Mayor has adopted a “hands-off” approach to internal caucus matters since taking office.

The Council will elect its leadership in January.

Looking for “Lugar Republicans”

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

Since we are now six months away from the May primary and a year away from the general election, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the U.S. Senate race.  I’ve spent the past few weeks talking to various sources around the state to get a feel for where things stand in the U.S. Senate race, and the one constant theme that keeps coming back is that Joe Donnelly might be a lot tougher to beat than initially thought.

First, there were the polls.   A poll published in recent editions of the Cheat Sheet showed Donnelly tied (40-40) with a generic Republican and 60 percent of Republicans polled were undecided, 22 percent supported Todd Rokita, 15 percent backed Luke Messer, and Mike Braun got three percent of the vote.

That 60 percent undecided number is consistent with what was released by both the Rokita and Messer camps earlier this year.  A Rokita poll released this summer gave him an eight-point lead over Messer (28-20) with Republican primary voters; however, 55 percent were undecided.  A survey put out by the Messer campaign showed the race virtually tied (23-23), but 45 percent were undecided.

And Morning Consult has been keeping track of Joe Donnelly’s approval ratings all year.  To date he’s been averaging just above 48 percent, 48.6 percent to be precise.  His disapproval rating has been at 25 percent.  And those who either don’t know or have no opinion come in at 26 percent.

Second, there’s the money.  You already know that Donnelly has about as much money in the bank as Luke Messer and Todd Rokita combined. He has $4.6 million in the bank, while Messer and Rokita have about $2.4 million each.    And don’t forget, State Rep. Mike Braun in one quarter raised $1 million ($800,000 of his own) and a new Super PAC (Our Indiana Voice) is also going to help him raise money.  So it doesn’t look like money isn’t going to be an issue for anybody in this race.

So what’s left to look at, I submit to you, the “Lugar Republicans”.

You remember them, the members of the GOP who went and voted for Donnelly in 2012 over Richard Mourdock, mainly due to his comments regarding rape and if a woman became pregnant, it was God’s intent for it to happen.  I think they will be crucial in not only the general election but also the primary.  And in a universe where 60 percent of Republicans are undecided, these guys are going to be a significant voting bloc.

We’ve been speaking to a number of them, and they are far from overwhelmed with the current crop of candidates.  At best, the “social club” wing of the group tends to favor Messer.  They are intrigued by Braun but have a lot of questions about him.  They are not Rokita fans.  And a good chunk of them don’t think Donnelly is beatable.   A current theme from speaking with all of them is that a lot of them don’t want to be bothered with any political talk until next year, which feeds into the poll that shows that 60 percent of Republicans are undecided.

And as far as candidates reaching out, from what we’ve been able to gather, it looks like the Rokita folks are going for the hardcore Trump supporters, although a spokesman tells me they will be able  “energize and unite all factions of the party to defeat Joe Donnelly.”   Meanwhile, sources close to team Messer tell me he is focusing on “growing his base” and bringing on board those moderate and establishment Republicans and build that “broader primary coalition.”

Both are going to have to do something.  This summer Donnelly marched in parades in the Republican strongholds of  Hamilton and Johnson counties.    And please note,  a check of 2016 election results shows Donald Trump underperforming than all the other candidates.   He got 87,300 votes while the average vote for the three County Commissioners was 97,000 votes.    And I was even informed that a wealthy group of Hancock County farmers held a fundraiser for Donnelly because he liked his position on agriculture.

Regardless, one longtime Lugar friend and supporter told us this, “Lugar Republicans (and the majority of Hoosiers) are ultimately for good governance.   By simply pledging to vote more frequently with the Trump Administration, it’s unclear how the current slate of Republican candidates for U.S. Senate will better address the problems of the nation than Senator Donnelly is already doing.”

 

Aaron Bailey Did Not Have to Die

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

This may sound strange,  but I agree with many Aaron Bailey supporters that he did not have to die at the hands to two IMPD officers.

I say that because after reading St. Joseph County special prosecutor Kenneth Cotter’s report, I am convinced that the person most responsible for Aaron Bailey’s death is Aaron Bailey.    Could the IMPD officers have done something differently?  Maybe.  But ultimately, had Bailey complied with the officers’ lawful commands, or made several other choices that night he would likely still be alive today, or at least not been shot several times.   Allow me to explain.

First of all, ask anyone in law enforcement, and they will tell you, there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.   When the officer walks up and approaches a vehicle, there is a chance he or she won’t come back.   And at 1:30 in the morning near 16th and Tremont I will also argue those chances increase quite a bit.

Secondly,  Officer Carlton Howard noticed Baily’s vehicle at a gas station at the pump with all four doors open and no occupants.  He didn’t investigate at the time, but about 10 minutes later he saw the same vehicle getting ready to exit the parking lot, and while it ample room to pull in front of him and leave, they waited until he drove past.    Carlton allowed the vehicle to pass, and later the car changed lanes without signaling.  He ran a license plate check and saw that Bailey’s license was suspended.  Thus the traffic stop begins.

So what do we have so far?  Suspicious activity at 1:30 in the morning by two individuals.

He asked Bailey for his license, who said he didn’t have one, so the officer asked for his ID.  The officer did tell Bailey it was “no big deal” that he didn’t have his license,  this was confirmed,  according to the special prosecutor’s report, by Shamika Ward, the passenger.  Also during this time, Bailey was described as getting more nervous and agitated during the traffic stop, to the point where Ward told him to calm down.

When Officer Howard ran a check on both Bailey and Ward, he saw that Bailey had a number of criminal arrests and convictions and he was a suspect in multiple robberies.  Ward was being monitored for a homicide, and any officer who came in contact with her was to detain her and notify the detective.

So what do we have so far?  Suspicious activity at 1:30 in the morning by two individuals, one of whom is connected to a homicide.

The second police officer (Dinnsen) arrives on the scene, and when Howard asks Bailey to get out of the car (twice) Bailey rolls up his window and takes off, and the pursuit begins.

So what do we have now?  Suspicious activity at 1:30 in the morning by two individuals, one of whom is connected to a homicide, and they take off during the traffic stop. 

The high-speed chase ensues, dispatch is notified, Bailey eventually crashes into a tree.

Howard and Dinnsen pull up to crash, get out of his car, draws their weapons, notice the airbags have been deployed. Howard says Bailey had his back to him and he could not see his hands.  They kept telling Bailey to show him his hands.  Ward raised her hands; Bailey kept rummaging near the center console.   They continued to order  Bailey to show his hands, Bailey began to turn around, and the officers discharged their weapons.

So what do we have now?  Suspicious activity at 1:30 in the morning by two individuals, one of whom is connected to a homicide, and they take off during the traffic stop.  They crash.  The officers repeatedly ordered him to show his hands.   Ward does.  Bailey doesn’t.  He appears to be rummaging for a weapon, starts to turn around and the officer’s fire at him.

But that’s not all.  Most interesting, to me, is the statement of Shamika Ward, the passenger.   She told the special prosecutor that she and Bailey had consumed half a pint of Vodka before going out that evening.  And they were going to make some money by taking bar soap, cutting it up and placing it in baggies to try to sell it as cocaine. (Note:  This is a very quick way to get shot by someone other than law enforcement.)

Ward also said that Bailey didn’t want to pull over as the officer initiated the traffic stop.  But she convinced him thinking they were getting pulled over because the batter in his GPS home detention tracker went out and he would be in violation of his probation.

So what do we have now?  We have Bailey whose initial evening plans were to sell fake drugs, driving on a suspended license while on probation with a broken GPS tracker at 1:30 in the morning with a person who wanted for questioning in connection with a homicide.  

Once Bailey fled during the traffic stop, Ward begged him to stop.  But he didn’t, and they later crashed into a tree.  She said she was stunned and could not see or hear, later she realized they were being shot at by police.  She says she remembers hearing three shots and Bailey telling her she had been shot.  Ward says she remembers the officers saying get your hands up.  She also told the special prosecutor that Bailey did not open the console, but it opened upon impact with the airbag deployment.

So what do we have now?  We have Bailey whose initial evening plans were to sell fake drugs, driving on a suspended license while on probation with a broken GPS tracker at 1:30 in the morning with a person who wanted for questioning in connection with a homicide.  They take off during the traffic stop.  They crash.  The officers repeatedly ordered him to show his hands.   Ward does.  Bailey doesn’t.  He appears to be rummaging for a weapon, starts to turn around and the officers fired at him.

Based on these facts, the person most responsible for Aaron Bailey’s death is Aaron Bailey.   He would not have had to die at the hands of IMPD officers had he not been out in violation of his probation, not made the choice to cut up bar soap and pass it off as drugs to sell, not fled during the traffic stop and complied with the officers when they immediately told him to show his hands.

We can argue about whether IMPD should have had to two relatively new officers on patrol at that time of day, that’s a fair question.  And we can look at the protocols for discharging a weapon to make sure they are appropriate. But when you look at it in the aggregate, based on these facts, it is extremely unlikely Aaron Bailey would have died had he made different choices, and unless new facts say otherwise he had several opportunities to do so.

A Few More Facts About Police Action Shootings

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

My good friend Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has come under fire for a recent op-ed he wrote regarding the NFL players who have taken a knee during the National Anthem at NFL games to protest police action shootings and social injustice.

Hill said while he respects the players’ right to take a knee, he also thinks they should step up and protest “black on black” violence, which far outnumbers blacks killed by police.  Hill has been catching a lot of flack for his statement, which does not surprise me because he is correct.

Looking at the data, I am more likely to be killed by a 22-year old black male, rather than a police officer with 22 years on the force.

So in all the chatter about police action shootings, which by the way, Indianapolis has only had one this year as of this summer, I decided to take a look at the data so far this year from across the country.  With what we’ve seen in the news so far this year, you would think it was open season on unarmed black men by law enforcement.  However, the information I found looking at the Post’s database, tended to paint a different picture.  

Here’s what I found, overall…

  • There have been nearly 800 police action shootings that resulted in fatalities, 14 of which occurred in the state of Indiana.
  • Mental illness played a role in 25 percent of the incidents.
  • 173 of the fatalities were fleeing the scene.
  • 758 of the fatalities were male.
  • 23 percent (184) were African-American, only 13  were unarmed.
  • In 659 instances a weapon (gun. Knife, car) was involved.
  • There were no body cams in 715 cases.

When it comes to Indiana, specifically, here’s a breakdown of those 10 police action shootings which resulted in fatalities…

  • All 14 fatalities were male.
  • Nine were white, four were African-American, one was Hispanic.
  • Four were between ages 18-29.  Five were between 30 and 44.  Five were more than 45 years old.
  • Three had mental illness issues.
  • Eight used a gun as a weapon, four used a vehicle, one was unarmed, one had a weapon that was labeled unknown.
  • Out of the nine that fled the scene, seven used a car.
  • There were no body cams in any of the incidents.
  • Only one of the police action shootings occurred in Indianapolis.

I also did a check of shootings in the last couple of years.  There were 963 nationwide in 2016, Indiana had 14.  There were 991 nationwide in 2015, 19 of which occurred in Indiana.  And once again, anyone looking for open season on African-Americans will be disappointed.  

In 2015, 26 percent of the fatalities were black nationwide.  That number dropped down to 24 percent in 2016.  And as far as being black and unarmed goes,  there were only 38 shootings of unarmed black men reported in 2015 and 17 shootings of unarmed black men in 2016.  And only seven were fleeing the scene.

And in Indiana, there were 14 police action shootings in 2016 that resulted in fatalities, four were African-American and only one was unarmed.  In 2015,  there were 19 police action shootings that resulted in death.  Six of them were African-American and none were reported unarmed.

Now take all that data and juxtapose it to what we’ve been seeing in Indianapolis so far this year.  By my last count, we were at 117 criminal homicides which puts us on track to tie last year’s record numbers.   And blacks, which tend to make up about 27 percent of the city’s population continue to be between 70-80 percent of the murder victims and nine out 10 times it was another person of color who sent them on to the next world.    And what’s really disturbing about these numbers, in particular, is that in the past 70-80 percent of the victims and suspects had prior criminal records so I could use my “self-cleaning oven” line and say most of this was just a bad guy shooting a bad guy.  Not so much this year.  This year those numbers range from 50-60 percent, which means there is something even deeper going on.  And the fact that you have parents telling their kids not to cooperate with law enforcement after these murders are taking place probably doesn’t help much either.

So what’s the moral of the story?  One black guy shot by police in Indy and everyone gets worked up, 93 blacks killed by other blacks and not a knee to be found in sight.

 

 

My Cold Beer Conspiracy

by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz

Growing up as a kid on the south side of Chicago, you got a pretty good education when it came to the street hustle, notably if you ever played the old shell game.  That’s the game where you place a ball under one of three cups, move the cups around, and someone tries to guess where the ball is.  Usually there is money involved, and usually, you place a bet and usually, you lose.    You lose because while you’re trying to follow the ball, the guy running the game figures out a way to draw your attention to one cup, while the ball is really under another cup.   The debate over Sunday retail alcohol sales and cold beer are a lot like that shell game.

Confused?  You won’t be after this.

I draw parallels between the Legislative debate regarding Sunday sales and cold beer sales at grocery and convenience stores to the shell game because that’s basically what the liquor stores have been doing lately.  You might have noticed the liquor store lobby has “reaffirmed” its support for Sunday retail sales.  They have put out news releases, and association president John Sinder even wrote an op-ed in the state’s largest newspaper.  The liquor tout how they have always been in support of Sunday retail alcohol sales and have called the ban “antiquated and forces small business package liquor stores to close one day per week.”   

Did I just wake up in a parallel universe where Hillary Clinton is President, and Harvey Weinstein is a champion of women’s rights?  Because I could argue that’s the only backdrop where the liquor industry would be sincere about its support for Sunday retail sales unless there is something else going on.  Which I submit to you, there is.

This is where the shell game comes in, so ponder this for a moment.

The liquor store folks have always maintained that they need special treatment because they operate under a different set of rules than the big box, grocery and convenience stores.  They say they are restricted by what they can sell, their employees have to be trained, and the big one; their permit licenses are much more expensive.  You always hear the story about the “mom and pop” liquor store that spent $200,000 for its license.  Which by the way is not true, that was a corporation that bought the license in an Indianapolis suburb. And most liquor license purchases are private transactions and the state doesn’t get a dime.   But I digress.

So with all those hoops, the liquor stores have to jump through, why would anyone spend that much money to operate a business that can’t open on Sunday and is restricted by what it can sell and who can work there?    I have two words for you, “cold beer”.

Cold beer is the only thing the liquor stores can sell that everyone else can’t, Rickers notwithstanding.   And that is what they are scared to death of losing.   If the liquor stores lose their monopoly on retail cold beer sales, it is game over.  And this is why they have suddenly become a lot more vocal about supporting Sunday alcohol sales.

Now doesn’t that shell game analogy starting to make a lot more sense?

By “coming out” in support of Sunday retail sales, the liquor store folks think that will be enough to stave off any talk of allowing their competitors to sell cold beer.   They want you to focus on Sunday sales, which garners a lot more public support than cold beer sales.  You will think they are reasonable, you will be able to buy alcohol when you do your Sunday grocery shopping, and all will be right with the world.

Don’t fall for the hustle folks.   I have covered this issue for more than a decade and at no point in time have the liquor store folks come out in full support of  Sunday retail alcohol sales.  And in the few instances they did, it had some many strings attached it looked like a giant puppet show.

The only reason they are conceding Sunday retail sales because they know it’s coming and they want to keep their cold beer monopoly.

Like my buddies used to say when it came to the old shell game, keep your eye on the ball because I can assure you the guy trying to hustle you is.