Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Mayor de Blasio calls Biden LaGuardia comments ‘inappropriate’


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Mayor de Blasio, responding to comments Vice President Joe Biden made a day earlier comparing LaGuardia Airport to a third world country, called his words “inappropriate.”

It was not his  “finest moment,” the mayor said, answering reporters’ questions at a press conference Friday.

“LaGuardia obviously needs an upgrade, but that being said, the airport manages an extraordinary amount of traffic and the people who work there make it work under very difficult circumstances,” he said.

Vice President Joe Biden made the remarks while reportedly speaking about infrastructure in Philadelphia Thursday at an event to unveil Amtrak’s newest engine.

“If you blindfolded someone and took them at two o’clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said where do you think you are, they’d say, ‘this must be in America, this is a modern airport,’” Biden said. “If I took you in blindfolded and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think, ‘I must be in some third world country.’ I’m not joking!”

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State address this January, said the borough’s airports were in need of care, particularly LaGuardia, which he said was ranked as the worst airport in the country.

Cuomo proposed modernizing LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports by having the state assume management responsibility from The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

 

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Vice President Biden says LaGuardia Airport is like ‘third world country’


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via YouTube/ PoliticsNoww·

Vice President Joe Biden, while reportedly speaking about infrastructure in Philadelphia Thursday, said LaGuardia Airport was similar to a “third world country.”

“If you blindfolded someone and took them at two o’clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said where do you think you are, they’d say, ‘this must be in America, this is a modern airport,’” Biden said. “If I took you in blindfolded and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think, ‘I must be in some third world country.’ I’m not joking!”

Biden was at the Pennsylvania event to unveil Amtrak’s newest engine, according to AP.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State address this January, said the borough’s airports were in need of care, particularly LaGuardia, which he said was ranked as the worst airport in the country.

Cuomo proposed modernizing LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports by having the state assume management responsibility from The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

 

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President calls for stronger gun laws following recent mass shootings


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Screenshot/whitehouse.gov

The day after New York passed some of the nation’s toughest gun laws, President Barack Obama signed a package of 23 executive orders that set parameters to reduce gun violence in the wake of several devastating shootings last year.

Seeking the recommendations of Vice President Joe Biden, the president put forth a push for background checks to prevent criminals from accessing firearms, school support for resource officers to work on emergency preparedness and guides for mental health workers with spotting and reporting threats of violence.

“[I] will sit at that desk,” he said, “and I will sign a directive giving law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the public health community some of the tools they need to help reduce gun violence.”

Obama announced the plan 33 days after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown. In attendance were children from across the country who wrote the president asking for stronger gun laws.

The president also suggested banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun clips, more than assault weapons, have been associated with mass shootings over the last few years.

Unlike the new New York law, which limits a magazine round to seven bullets, the executive directive suggests capping clips at 10 rounds – going back to the law under a 1994 to 2004 assault weapons ban.

Despite allegations that the presidents plans would go against the Second Amendment, Obama said these orders were targeted at illegal gun ownership and the violence it can cause.

“I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale,” he said. “I believe most of them agree that if America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown.  That’s what these reforms are designed to do.  They’re common-sense measures.  They have the support of the majority of the American people.”

It’s now up to Congress, Obama said, to require universal background checks and enforce a magazine limit that will keep the country safer. But to make Congress act and approve these limits, the American people have to speak, especially in districts with a strong pro-gun lobby.

“We’re going to need voices in those areas, in those congressional districts, where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important.  It can’t just be the usual suspects.  We have to examine ourselves and our hearts, and ask ourselves what is important.”

 

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Obama taps Biden to head task force on gun violence


| brennison@queenscourier.com

In an effort to prevent another tragedy like last week’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force to develop a concrete plan no later than January to curb gun violence in the country.

“The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence, doesn’t mean that we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence,” Obama said at the White House five days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The administration-wide effort led by Biden will include outside organizations and address an issue of gun control and violence that has not often been broached in Obama’s first term.

Biden’s hand in writing the now-expired 1994 bill banning assault weapons made him the right man for the job, said Obama.

The president said he wants a plan no later than January that he will “push without delay.”

“I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed the at preventing more tragedies like this,” the president said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long been critical of Washington’s lack of progress on gun control, said he is encouraged by the president’s statements and that it was a “step in the right direction.”

“The country needs his leadership if we are going to reduce the daily bloodshed from gun violence that we have seen for too long,” Bloomberg said. “The task force must move quickly with its work, as 34 Americans will be murdered with guns every day that passes without common sense reforms to our laws.”

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: A slight chance of showers between noon and 2pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 62. Breezy, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Friday night: Clear, with a low around 41. North wind 9 to 17 mph.

Biden and Ryan quarrel aggressively in debate, offering contrasts

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Paul D. Ryan fiercely quarreled at the vice-presidential debate here on Thursday night, with Mr. Biden using the cutting attack lines against the Republican ticket that Mr. Obama did not and Mr. Ryan delivering a spirited case for conservative policies that Mr. Romney had soft-pedaled. Read more: NY Times

Yankees fall in closeout game, allow Baltimore Orioles to force ALDS Game 5 on J.J. Hardy’s game-winning RBI double in the 13th inning

This time Raul IObanez didn’t help. Pinch-hitting for A-Rod didn’t help. The Yankees are running out of alternatives and answers as their Game 5 fate beckons. As the Bombers failed to conjure the previous game’s magic, the Orioles extended this best-of-five American League division series to a decisive game with a 13-inning, 2-1 victory over the Yankees Thursday night at the Stadium. Read more: Daily News

Melinda Katz kicks off campaign for borough president

Noting that it was crucial to determine what the common needs of a diverse borough like Queens were, Melinda Katz, former member of the City Council and Assembly, embarked Wednesday, October 10 on a year-long run for the borough president’s office — after incumbent Helen Marshall steps down at the end of 2013 due to term limits. Read more: Queens Courier

ESU police attempted To save Queens man shot by their fellow officer

On video taken shortly after Noel Polanco was shot by an Emergency Service Unit officer on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the 22-year-old is seen being brought out of a unmarked ESU truck on a stretcher. Polanco, 22, was fatally shot by ESU Detective Hassan Hamdy following an early morning traffic stop near LaGuardia Airport last Thursday. Read more: NY1

MTA announces three new fast-track bus routes to LaGuardia Airport

The city and MTA are creating three souped-up bus routes to LaGuardia Airport, including one from Manhattan and one from the Bronx. With the new routes, Select Bus Service — which includes trip-speeding tactics like curbside payment — will be in every borough next year, officials said. Read more: Daily News

iPhone thief prowls Queens

An iPhone thief is wreaking havoc in Queens, police said. The robber is responsible for stealing eight of the smartphones between Aug. 1 and Sept. 20 in neighborhoods such as Astoria and Hunters Point. Read more: NY Post

Long Island City strip club hopes third time is the charm for liquor license

The owners of a controversial Long Island City strip club who have twice been denied a liquor license are hoping the third time’s the charm. Lawyers for 21 Group Inc., which currently operates Show Palace, have asked the New York State Liquor Authority to reconsider their most recent application. Read more: Daily News

Meeks pal cops plea

A Queens businessman who had been pressed by prosecutors to dish dirt on his friend, embattled Rep. Gregory Meeks, pleaded guilty yesterday to a $50 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Edul Ahmad — whose $40,000 “loan” to Meeks in 2007 remains the subject of a House Ethics Committee probe — faces up to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced for the mortgage scam that enabled unqualified home buyers to get loans. Read more: NY Post

St. John’s fencers meet Obama


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of St. John’s University

They got to travel and compete in London, and now two St. John’s University fencers can add meeting the president to their stat sheet.

Seniors Daryl Homer and Dagmara Wozniak met President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden last week as part of the commander in chief’s meeting with USA’s Olympians a month after they crossed the pond to compete.

“I’m unbelievably grateful to have met President Obama,” Homer said in a release from St. John’s. “This is a memory I will always cherish.”

Homer took a year off from NCAA eligibility to train and practice for the summer games. During that time he trained twice a day, focusing on footwork, sparring and practicing drills, adding up to around 20 hours a week.

He finished sixth in men’s saber at the summer games — the best for an American in that class this year — after he beat Russian second-seeded Alexey Yakimenko in his first round.

Although Wozniak traveled to Beijing with team USA in 2008 as a substitute player, she did not walk with the other athletes or take part in the games. The Polish-born Wozniak finally made her Olympic appearance this year. She finished eighth in the women’s saber competition — reaching the quarterfinals — following her victory over the seventh seed in the round of 16.

Wozniak said meeting the president was something that would stick with her forever.

“It was an amazing day,” Wozniak said. “Meeting the president and being able to take a tour of the White House is something I’ll never forget.”

Wozniak finished her final year of NCAA eligibility this year, according to the release, but will continue at St. John’s to complete her degree.

Both fencers are planning on, and looking forward to, representing the U.S. again in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

— With additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

Obama says same-sex marriage should be legal


| jlane@queenscourier.com

President Obama said Wednesday that he believes same-sex marriage should be legal.

“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts in an interview at the White House.

The president’s decision to address the issue directly came after Vice President Joe Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage during an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday.

[New York Post]