Our nation's capital has become increasingly agitated with, among other concerns, IRS nonprofit-checking standards, the intelligence community listening in on all of us, plus foreign Muslim terrorists killing each other, while planning the same type of domestic activity for us.

Our nation's capital has become increasingly agitated with, among other concerns, IRS nonprofit-checking standards, the intelligence community listening in on all of us, plus foreign Muslim terrorists killing each other, while planning the same type of domestic activity for us.

Almost makes one wish for an Iran-Contra type scandal to return, when Democrats could point fingers about lack of regulatory supervision, divided government, and a President not in focus, who had raised taxes three times during his terms of office. But both parties could then point out they were cooperating to right the nation's wrongs, and would eventually help elect a President whose administration did balance the budget -- promptly forgotten as the 20th century ended and the same old mistakes were put back in place.

I think we can expect the nonprofit dust-up to right itself, given new leadership to vigorously clean house at Internal Revenue. We will not change the current addiction to recording conversations, nor should we, in light of the current world situation, plus using enabling legislation cooperatively passed by both parties after 9/11.

Would that our elected leadership could now work together in similar fashion to bring us completely out of the economic emergency. In my dream world, we would be hearing fiery condemnation by Muslim leadership decrying what has become of a once respected religion, that now tolerates suicide bombing, a tactic that would never be sanctioned by Mohammed or mentioned in the Koran. Does Al-Qaida really have the moderates scared ?

Religious leaders unwilling to at least examine change are not unknown in this country. An Amish bishop is as unyielding in upholding his (always male) rules of faith, as with the fundamentalist Muslim leader who ordains an unchanging orthodoxy, or the Bishop whose interpretation is ironclad, up to and including the role of women. I almost hesitate to include the peace-loving Amish who want only to evade any "worldly " influence and would never think of using violence against others to gain their end. Well, maybe a little beard cutting now and then to combat sacrilege is excusable. Nevertheless, their children leave school at 14, never to return, which I consider almost criminal, and are banished forever from home and family if they transgress.

Don't look for any immediate action among our fearless legislative bodies to enact any type of Freedom From Religion legislation that would improve situations of this sort. Harry Reid threatened the Senate with removal of the 60-vote requirement by amending current filibuster restrictions, using a majority vote to establish rules at the beginning session, but has been conspicuously silent since then. Truth be told, he and the rest of the Democrats in the Senate long for the day when they can use the same tactics. The threat to women's reproductive health alone, using religion as an excuse, is about as valid as saying the constitution guarantees an absolute right for every individual to carry any type of gun: There's room for debate but the final answer is pretty clear.

Speaking of religion, where has our sense of humor gone?

I have little sympathy for Gordon Gee,who should have known better, as tender as the sensibilities of the Catholic church are right now. A good friend and retired Presbyterian minister reported in a recent group discussion that he had contacted two very close friends, priests he had known for years, to ask for their comments: One reported he had been hurt by Gee's comments, the other indicated he agreed whole-heartedly with the implications, a division of opinion I strongly suspect reflects that of the church as a whole, most certainly including Protestant, Jewish and Muslim factions.

I can only assume many of those faithful were indignant to apoplectic regarding recent newspaper reports regarding the amount of tax monies allocated to legislators' health insurance for dental, vision and hospitalization complete coverage.

All but 15 of our Ohio elected representatives are accepting this benefit, while refusing to take federal monies to extend Medicaid by way of Obamacare, to those meeting federal poverty standards, for an individual premium about one-third of that paid by us for those who make our laws.

By the way, that's for standard healthcare only, no vision insurance help, or dental while 30 percent of our children need this type of attention -- and do not get it. Our state does budget carefully, but the latest reports show we are still very short of replacing the many millions taken from local government and school funding to balance that $8 billion deficit in 2010.

Maybe our General Assembly could help by abolishing their state-paid health coverage, placing themselves on Medicaid, and under Obamacare beginning in 2014.

Reach guest columnist Bill McNutt at wmmcnutt@juno.com.