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Morning Spew

It’s Tuesday, So You Must ‘Release the Beef’

A Queens man and the owner of an animal sanctuary find themselves in some legal trouble, the Brooklyn Democratic Party continues to be the Brooklyn Democratic Party, and everything else we're thinking about today.

9:12 AM EDT on August 9, 2022

The Verrazzano Bridge at night, a bolt of lightning behind it

Lightning around the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge during storm on the evening of Thursday, Aug 4, 2022, seen from Brooklyn. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA)

Good morning, it's yet another scorcher, a Queens man appears to be in even more legal trouble this morning and Republicans are now Antifa, but because I control the reins here let's talk about a different, albeit also highly contentious legal battle. I'm referring, of course, to the ongoing drama in Niagara County involving Asha's Farm Sanctuary and its owner, Tracy Murphy, and two cows that she claimed wandered into her animal rescue.

The cows in question belonged to Scott Gregson, a farmer and, curiously, a New York state trooper. But what are property rights if not a human construction whose ethics are always up for debate? After Murphy refused to return the cows, telling a local news outlet, "We don’t want to hand over these animals that are going to go into slaughter," outraged locals held protests in support of Gregson, complete with signs urging her to "RELEASE THE BEEF." Alas, Murphy was recently arrested, the cows were returned (and "taken to a secure location for their and my family’s safety," according to a Facebook post by Gregson), and now Murphy faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty. In a twist, PETA's 2019 person of the year Joaquin Phoenix has thrown his support behind Murphy and pleaded for leniency. Via the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal:

“To so harshly punish a woman who was simply showing kindness to two individuals who had wandered onto her property is astounding," Phoenix said in a statement issued by his social impact adviser, Michelle Cho. "There was an opportunity here to show compassion and mercy. To allow these peaceful creatures to remain without fear or anticipation of harm for the rest of their lives."

Phoenix said he applauded Murphy for “standing her ground in the name of animal liberation.”

Will Joaquin Phoenix save the day? Are the two cows still alive or are they already burgers? Stay tuned!

In more local news, George Joseph and Yoav Gonen at the CITY have yet another spicy breakdown of the dysfunction and cronyism endemic to the Brooklyn Democratic Party—this time involving not forged signatures or a dead woman who somehow signed up for a commitee seat but the county party's nominees to the New York Supreme Court. And surprise, surprise, what was supposed to a small-d democratic process was in essence, a predetermined sham!

Naturally, the process involved former party chair Frank Seddio shouting that he's a "fucking Sicilian who will take your fucking heart out" at another committee exec who dared to challenge him during the secret meeting where the slate of candidates was picked in advance:

Here's what else we're reading:

    • Crypto billionaire and dear friend of Mayor Eric Adams Sam Bankman-Fried is spending some of his cryptocurrency supporting mostly terrible candidates running for Congress in our fine state—and is Carlina Rivera next?
    • The city council is moving to ban landlords from conducting criminal background checks on prospective tenants.
    • Something is happening with Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets...but what exactly???
    • New York will no longer refer to people incarcerated in prison as "inmates," after Governor Kathy Hochul signed a measure into law—but when will Hochul fulfill her promise to grant clemency to "incarcerated individuals?"
    • The parents of 3-month-old Apolline Mong-Guillemin, who was killed by a reckless driver last September, have sued the City for failing to make the streets in Clinton Hill safer. According to Streetsblog, City attorneys are now arguing that the baby's parents are at fault for taking her for a walk—they should have known how treacherous NYC streets really are.
    • "New York's Hottest Club" is NOT the Catholic Church, no matter what the New York Times op-ed page decides to print.
    • And as the battle between Mayor Eric Adams, the city council, and irate parents and school officials over school funding gets testier and testier, Mayor Adams wants us to pray for him:
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