Celebrity-Stuffed PETA Video Denounces Carriage Horse Industry, Urges de Blasio To Ban It Already

Screenshot via PETA
The battle over carriage horses in the city is dragging on and on, with no end in sight, and, as yet, no bill introduced in the City Council that would actually ban the industry and replace it with the classic cars favored by animal rights group NYCLASS. While Bill de Blasio famously promised "an immediate ban" on carriage horses during his campaign, the mayoral reality hasn't been quite so neat; a recent Newsday story found that 19 city council members are undecided on the merits of a ban, versus 15 who support it and eight who oppose it.

Neither side definitely has the 26-vote majority they'd need for victory, and in the meantime, everyone is ramping up their publicity. First there was Liam Neeson's big visit to the Clinton Park stables, where he called carriage driving "a beautiful industry." And yesterday, PETA released a new video wherein millions of celebrities denounce the carriage horse industry as cruel and inhumane. If you were waiting to hear what Dave Navarro's eyebrows think about horses before you made up your mind, wait no more.

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De Blasio Has a History of Intervening on Behalf of His Friends

Categories: Bill de Blasio

We're having flashbacks.
Early Wednesday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported a high-profile pastor and member of Mayor Bill de Blasio's inaugural committee with two warrants out for his arrest was released from jail after the mayor made a phone call inquiring about his arrest.

Officers pulled Bishop Orlando Findlayter over at 11:21 p.m. Monday. Findlayter, who was an early supporter of de Blasio's campaign, had made a left turn without signaling. When a database query revealed Findlayter had failed to appear in court in January after he was arrested in October at a protest, he was taken into custody.

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De Blasio Tries to Cheer Up Miserable New Yorkers: "We Are Tough by Nature"

This mayor has given so many press conferences about winter weather we ought to start calling him de BlasiSNOW, amirite?

On Wednesday, the mayor tried to console New Yorkers increasingly grumpy over the string of storms by telling them, "We are tough by nature... We don't give in to challenges." Next, he tried channeling the ghost of mayor Ed Koch, who used to say, "I wake up every morning and say to myself, 'Well, I'm still in New York. Thank you, God.'"

Even in on our darkest days, we can take comfort in our illusory superiority.

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De Blasio Talks Plowghazi, Forkgate During First Daily Show Appearance

Cheers to the new regime.
Mayor Bill de Blasio made his first appearance since his inauguration on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Monday. Stewart's conversation with De Blasio touched on the major scandals of his first 34 days in office -- Plowghazi, Forkgate -- as well as his future plans, e.g. the Great Carriage Horse Emancipation and, ultimately, a full transition to socialism. (First the Che Guevara posters, next the bread line.)

De Blasio arrived at The Daily Show's midtown studios the same day that winter storm Maximus dumped more than eight inches of snow in Central Park. The weather provided occasion for de Blasio to tell Stewart about his plans for the ungrateful Upper East Siders who whined that he purposefully withheld snow plows as "payback" for their supporting other candidates.

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On Hot 97, Bill de Blasio Talks Dropping the Stop-and-Frisk Appeal and Dante's "Extraordinary" Fro

Thumbnail image for Dante.jpg
Image via.
The fro in question, in case you'd forgotten.
In a news conference yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced what he's been promising since he was a candidate: an end to New York City's ongoing legal battle to stop and frisk with impunity. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city had been appealing a decision by Federal District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, which called the practice unconstitutional, and which ordered that an independent monitor be appointed to reform the department's stop-and-frisk policies; separately, the New York City Council voted to create an inspector general's position for the department.

In an interview this morning with Peter Rosenberg and Ebro, Hot 97's morning show hosts, de Blasio called stop-and-frisk "a broken policy," and promised "an entirely different approach" to fighting crime.

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Bill de Blasio Details Plans for Free Pre-Kindergarten Citywide

Categories: Bill de Blasio

PanchoS via Flickr
Bill and Chirlane de Blasio at P.S. 50 in East Harlem.

On Monday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio released the details of his plan to make full-day pre-kindergarten available to all four-year-olds across New York City for free. Starting in September 2014, the program will be available for 53,604 children; in September 2015, it will expand to serve 73,250 children.

The Mayor released the report before heading to Albany, where he will pitch the program to lawmakers. De Blasio will have to convince folks in the capital that his program, which relies on a tax, is a better alternative than the statewide program Governor Cuomo proposed earlier this month.

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De Blasio: "More Could Have Been Done" to Plow the Upper East Side

Image via Twitter.
De Blasio personally snow-shovels everybody's house but the ones on the UES.
Yesterday, as Polar Vortex II: Electric Boogaloo descended on the city, vengeful Marxist dictator Bill de Blasio made his class warfare agenda known. The mayor cruelly and deliberately prevented the Upper East Side from being snow-plowed, because he hates the rich and wants them to get their shoes all mucky.

That was, anyway, the narrative over the highly respectable New York Post, which blared, "It really is a tale of two cities -- this time with the tony Upper East Side getting the shaft!" The Daily News decided to run with the same general idea, although they did note that the sanitation commissioner, John Doherty, was appointed by previous mayor Michael Bloomberg. CBS had also noted earlier that the truck sent out to the area had a broken GPS, according to Doherty himself, who said that combined with traffic problems accounted for much of the delay.

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Watch Bill de Blasio's Inauguration Live Without Having to Leave Your Bed

Screenshot via AP
The de Blasio family at the midnight swearing-in.
Good morning! Sorry. Are we shouting? Good morning. It's New Year's Day, and we imagine you probably need a burger and some Gatorade more than you need to trek down to City Hall and try frantically to score a scalped ticket to Bill de Blasio's sold-out mayoral inauguration.

Luckily, NYC.gov will be livestreaming the whole thing. And if that's still too much trouble, we'll embed the livestream after the jump. It was supposed to go live on the city's website by 10:30, but eventually appeared nearly an hour later. Guess everyone's getting a slow start this morning.

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Zachary Carter, Who Led Abner Louima Prosecutions, Is NYC's New Chief Lawyer

Dorsey & Whitney, LLP
Zachary Carter
Peruse the newly filed civil cases in any of the five boroughs' state supreme courthouses and you'll see, each day, dozens of lawsuits filed against the city's police department. The allegations generally range from wrongful arrest to unjust detention to assault. Most of the cases begin by describing an unconstitutional application of the city's stop and frisk policy.

For the past 12 years, those cases fell on the desk of Michael Cardozo, the corporation counsel appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to provide the city's legal representation. And as former city attorney Joel Berger told the New York Times, "Under Cardozo, the policy has been to fight every police misconduct case tooth and nail."

So there is, at the very least, symbolic value in Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's choice for Cardozo's replacement: Zachary Carter, who made his name, in large part, by prosecuting one of the most high profile police misconduct cases in New York City history.

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Chiara de Blasio Admits to "Huge" Problem with Substance Abuse, Depression

Categories: Bill de Blasio

Chiara de Blasio in the video released on Christmas Eve
In a professionally edited video delivered to reporters inboxes on Tuesday, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's daughter admits to abusing alcohol and drugs to cope with severe depression, or, in the parlance of the production team, Chiara "tells her story and opens up about substance abuse."

The slick video, with its soft piano and statistics ("28% of Americans drink at levels that put them at risk for alcohol dependence") looks and sounds more like a public service announcement than anything else.

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