I'm so glad the Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate ["Seeking common ground in DC," News, Nov. 14].

Now maybe they can accomplish some important goals, such as lowering gas prices, reducing unemployment, making health care accessible for everyone, raising real estate prices, bringing the stock market to an all-time high. No, wait, that was all done by President Barack Obama during his six years in office while dealing with a gridlocked Congress.

Maybe with Republicans in control, both parties will work together to address the country's other concerns, like the Islamic State group, immigration reform, raising the minimum wage and stronger gun control.

Let's stop bashing this president and let him finish his term doing good things for our country.

Irene Sweeney, Old Westbury

Leonard Pitts Jr.'s column calling for the GOP to "put up or shut up" regarding an impeachment of President Barack Obama was equal parts comical and sad -- and it hit the nail right on the head ["Dear GOP: Go ahead, impeach Obama," Opinion, Nov. 17].

If only more Democrats who ran for Congress in the recent election voiced support for the president and called out Republicans so succinctly, we might have had an outcome that represented progress rather than a ticket back to the Stone Age.

The nonsensical and illogical bluster from the right wing can and should no longer be taken seriously. The fact that so many have fallen for it is truly a shame.

David Eli, Valley Stream

Utilities consumer advocate needed

Your front-page story "Proposal to cut LIPA debt: Charge customers more" [News, Nov. 18] should serve as a wake-up call to our state senators.

The Long Island Power Authority's private financial adviser might be urging a rate increase, but 74 percent of Long Island's 50-and-over residents are already worried about affording their sky-high utility bills, a greater percentage than their peers anywhere else in New York, according to recent surveys by my organization.

It's the high cost of utilities, property taxes and housing that has 70 percent of working Long Island baby boomers saying they may flee New York in retirement -- again, a higher percentage of boomers than anywhere else in the state.

With retired boomers set to contribute nearly $32 billion a year to the Island's economy, we can't afford to lose them.

Our senators should pass a bill establishing an independent utility consumer advocate to fight unwarranted rate hikes. Forty other states have done this, saving residents billions of dollars.

Ironically, it's Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) who has blocked the bill, which has twice passed the Assembly with bipartisan votes and is supported by 83 percent of Long Islanders older than 50, according to our survey.

William Stoner, Mount Sinai

Editor's note: The writer is the associate state director for Long Island of the AARP.

Withdraw advisers, aid from Middle East

There are no governments in the Mideast capable of controlling all of their innumerable religious and cultural populations. The populations are unstable and decentralized, yet we continue to pour in big money with few tangible results, except perhaps resentment. A new anti-Western faction seems to arise daily.

Three of our servicemen were attacked by a group of rowdies in Turkey, completely unprovoked ["U.S. sailors roughed up in Istanbul," News, Nov. 13].

This attack in Turkey in no way calls for U.S. troops. It's time we acknowledge the fact that we have zero influence over these countless sects and groups.

We must rapidly extricate ourselves from all those conflicting cultures in the Middle East, both militarily and financially. We would be better off using our resources here.

Roy Lawrence, Syosset

A positive by-product of removing trees

What has been missing from the discussion about taking down trees is pedestrian and vehicular safety ["Alternatives to taking down trees?," Letters, Nov. 17].

Reconstruction along Jackson Avenue in Syosset has provided pedestrians with new sidewalks to walk to the train station, downtown shops and houses of worship. And many others use the sidewalks to jog or walk for daily exercise.

A more walkable community is a more valuable community!

Laura Schultz, Syosset

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset.

Reusing plastic bags is helpful

So, Newsday supports banning plastic bags ["Any limit on bags should go beyond the East End," Editorial, Nov. 11]?

I live in an apartment that doesn't recycle. I go once a week to the recycling center, on the one day it's open. I must store my cans and bottles in my apartment until then, and for this I use plastic bags.

I don't intend to buy bags just to throw them away; ergo, I will no longer recycle if I do not get these bags.

Veronica Maggi, Mineola


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