WASHINGTON — As we enter this new year of 2010, here are a few of my pet peeves that I would like to see resolved.

My exceptionally nice mother, who will be 89 in a few days and walks with a cane, recently was strip-searched during a journey that began in Dayton, Ohio, and ended in Alaska. But a 23-year-old Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is a radical Islamist and whose father warned the government his son was dangerous, was permitted to board a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, allegedly with explosives in his underwear.

What's with that?

The 535 members of Congress have to-die-for health-care insurance. Forty-six million Americans have none, a situation that does not exist in any other major industrial nation. After a year of rancorous squabbling by our legislators, we still don't know if there will be a workable, affordable solution to this dilemma.

Enough already.

At the beginning of 2009, we finally got a president who is not a white, Anglo-Saxon male, but we ended the year completely mesmerized by another non-white golfer's philandering. There is now a Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court, but we spent more time analyzing the trials and tribulations of Jon and Kate plus eight and Brangelina.

Is there any limit to our lust for celebrity gossip and determination to put people on pedestals one day and knock them off the next?

Back in the Carter administration, we were humiliated by right-wingers in Iran who kept 53 Americans hostage for 444 days. We're not faring much better with the hostile Iranian clergy these days. New Americans have been taken hostage, and Iran is threatening to go nuclear. Meanwhile, Israel is itching to blow up Tehran, and the United States is ignored while telling Iran to stop being so harsh to dissidents and to free our people.

President Barack Obama, what are your thoughts about this, historically speaking?

Not since Hitler has one man done so much harm to Jews, but Ponzi schemer Bernard "Bernie" Madoff, who stole billions from friends' trust funds and charities, is now living in a country-club prison. The convicted swindler most recently was reported as having been taken to Duke University Medical Center after falling out of bed. Unlike 46 million Americans, he got excellent care.

Are we destined to be hearing about Madoff for his entire 150-year prison sentence?

Uncle Sam is still giving bailout bucks to banks that won't make loans to small businesses and deserving consumers. Meanwhile, Wall Street companies that started the sub-prime meltdown and threw us all into recession are borrowing money so they can give back their bailout funds and give big bonuses again to the fat cats who made all the bad decisions in the first place.

Are we ever going to learn from our mistakes? Are we ever going to get meaningful financial regulatory oversight?

Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for being a nice man who charms Europeans and who says he doesn't like war and is taking soldiers out of the war in Iraq to send them to the war in Afghanistan.

Do we have to have a Nobel Peace Prize winner even if there isn't anyone who deserves it?

Swine flu hit elementary schools and college campuses with a vengeance, and the government threw everyone into a panic. But, as usual, there wasn't enough flu vaccine. (My mother couldn't even get a seasonal-flu vaccine for weeks.) As usual, there were charges and countercharges and a flurry of congressional hearings.

Does learning to cough into your shoulder count as self-improvement for the purposes of New Year's resolutions?

We now know that greenhouse gases are not just an e-mail hoax but are leading to climate change that will seriously damage the planet and millions who live on it. The world's political leaders flew in private jets to Copenhagen to talk about this. They concluded it is a serious problem and that something should be done. Someday.

When the catastrophe comes, will there be anyone around to say, "Hey, those disaster movies where the people with power did nothing really had a point"?

Yes, there will be. My mother.

Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters has covered the White House and national politics since 1986. E-mail amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.