CONGRESS is covered in shame today. Or should be.

And extra shame goes to Pennsylvania.

Why is this day different from the last, oh, 10 years?

For one thing, today the body count of victims of mass murderers is higher than ever, with last week's Orlando shooting adding 49 deaths to the total. And yet, Monday night, four gun-control proposals failed in the Senate. Again.

Senate Republicans, many of whom put special interests ahead of the American people, rejected a measure that would prohibit those on the terrorist "no-fly" list from purchasing guns. They also refused to close the "gun-show loophole" that allows private sales of guns without a background check of the buyer. Another proposal would have increased funding for research into mass shootings and increased funding for the background check system, and a fourth would have allowed the attorney general to stop gun sales to suspected terrorists (and provided due process for appeals).

None of these would have stopped the Orlando shooter. None of them included a ban on the sale of assault weapons, or high-capacity magazines - both of which might be effective deterrents to the kind of mass shootings whose annual number now far exceeds the number of federal holidays. But that's not the point. The point is that a warped and self-serving interpretation of the Constitution that elevates gun ownership to a sacrament has made this country the shame of the world. And our elected officials don't care.

And what's wrong with Sen. Pat Toomey? In 2013, he cosponsored a bill that would have expanded background checks. That bill failed, but the bigger failure is his subsequent change of heart. He also voted against the measure that would prohibit those on the "no-fly" list from buying a gun.

The argument goes that many innocent people mistakenly are on that list, and it's unfair to deny them their supposedly God-given right to a gun. Except the only thing that is actually God-given is the sanctity of life, and that is denied to every victim of a gun massacre. Children included.

Also covered in shame today is U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who was found guilty Tuesday of racketeering, fraud and money laundering. The 11-term congressman was brought to trial on a scheme that funneled money through a nonprofit he founded to pay back an illegal a $1 million campaign loan. Federal prosecutors contend he took bribes, and stole charitable donations, campaign contributions and federal grant money that he funneled into his nonprofit.

The practice of public officials establishing a nonprofit charitable organization and then opening up the earmarks tap to get public dollars to fund the group is far too common. The practice should stop. There simply is no way lawmaker-controlled nonprofits can be justified, and, given the structure of such organizations, the potential for abuse is stunningly high. Worst case, the nonprofits become secret piggy banks for officials with no requirements, and little to no oversight or regulation.

On another day, we might call on Congress to do something to stop this practice. Except Congress has proved that it remains so insulated from reality - and common sense - that we have no hope of this happening.

Today, the only thing we can reliably count on from these lawmakers is more shame.