Horror show: Two journalists shot and killed during a live broadcast

My role as a blogger is to reduce complexities to root matters.

So let me say this about that pair of television journalists at a CBS affiliate in Virginia who were shot and killed during a live broadcast this morning: The world is inhabited by many good souls. But dreadfully, there are some among us who are more mutant than man.

The news people became the news so shocking and depressing that it repainted our mood for hours.

Authorities said the suspected shooter, a former disgruntled employee at the station, shot himself after being confronted by police on an interstate highway.

The suspected gunman, identified as Vester Flanagan, a 41-year-old former WDBJ-TV reporter whose on-air name was Bryce Williams, was taken into custody and later died.

The victims, WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, her 27-year-old cameraman, died shortly after the shooting.

The gunman opened fire as Parker was interviewing Vicky Gardner, a local Chamber of Commerce official. Gardner was shot in the back and hospitalized for surgery. She was listed in stable condition.

A chilling first-person video posted to a Twitter account belonging to Williams shows what appears to be him holding a gun behind Parker and Ward during their live shoot, then firing three shots as Parker tries to flee.

“I filmed the shooting,” Williams tweeted after alleging Parker had made “racist comments” about him. The Twitter account has since been suspended.

It obviously was an utterly loathsome act, the latest example that revenge is indeed a treacherous wasteland.

If the veep jumps in, Biden vs. Hilary might steal some of the spotlight from Trump

With Hillary Clinton’s campaign exhibiting the traction of a golf cart in a blizzard, rumors are ricocheting across the land that Veep Joe Biden is going to plunge into the Democratic presidential primary.

Here’s hoping he does because God knows the Democratic campaign could use some juice. The Republicans have been grabbing all the attention thanks to the mild, meek stately grace of Donald Trump.

Of course, if Biden does run that puts his boss, Barack Obama, in a little bit of a pickle. Does he endorse Biden or Clinton?

The smart move would be not to endorse either but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that the president could make an endorsement in the Democratic primary.

Granted, that wouldn’t be the first mistake Obama has made. He has developed mistake-making into an art form.

Then again, his endorsement may not mean squat. The president’s political clout was hallowed out like a pumpkin a long time ago.

If Biden were to join the fray and win the nomination, Biden vs. Trump (assuming he doesn’t eventually implode) could be one hairy nightmare.

Trump’s epic comb-over and Biden’s failed hair plugs don’t exactly make them doubles for Chris Hemsworth or Patrick Dempsey.

Fidel Castro still blowing smoke

Fidel Castro, who just turned a freshly minted 89, apparently failed to step back from the vortex before all the hot air spewing from his mouth these many years shoved him over the edge of insanity.

Now that Uncle Sam has reopened an embassy in Havana, the former Cuban president is asking us to pay “many, many millions of dollars” in damages to Cuba because of the embargo.

Evidently Fidel has been smoking more than just Cuban cigars all these decades.

Homework is not child abuse

Americans these days are zealots when it comes to coddling our kids.

Everybody gets a trophy when they play sports and nobody keeps score because parents want to protect their kids from having poison percolate in the labyrinthine layers of their psyches.

In California they even banned rain so that kids wouldn’t get wet.

Now a study published today in The American Journal of Family Therapy found students in the early elementary school years are getting significantly more homework than is recommended by education leaders … in some cases nearly three times as much.

But a little perspective is in order.

Even if kids today are getting more homework than the guidelines endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association, they still have plenty of time to soak up supersized drinks while they sit transfixed by video games.

Because the endorsed standards are laughable. They are based on the 10-minute rule — 10 minutes per grade level per night. That translates into a mere 10 minutes of homework in the first grade, 20 minutes in the second grade, all the way up to 120 minutes for senior year of high school.

Little wonder why America generally ranks only in the mid-teens among countries in most global educational rankings.

If we let North Korea kick our ass, we all are dumb losers.

I know times change but my old man strapped me instead of coddled me, they kept score at my Little League games where winners got trophies and losers were sent to bed because they were losers, and teachers piled on homework like Donald Trump piles on insults.

It’s time we stopped pampering our little princes and princesses and infused them with a hardscrabble work ethic.

When those kids become adults, they’ll thank us. And be smart enough to be able to take care of us in our dotage.

Narcissistic Trump now says that Megyn Kelly should apologize to him

Donald Trump, who has yet to catch a riff of retrospection, continues to display his arrogance like plumage.

Trump, who has about much charm as a strangler’s cord, not only is refusing to apologize for his controversial comments about Megyn Kelly but now says the Fox News host should apologize to him.

Trump keeps feeding the media red meat and they keep gobbling it up.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock on Pluto, Kelly asked Trump during last week’s debate about his history of sexist comments about women.

Trump later asserted that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

His remarks hemorrhaged a bloodbath of criticism.

Astonishingly, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll Monday found Trump holding onto his wide lead. Trump led the Republican Party’s 17-strong presidential field with the backing of 24 percent of GOP voters, unchanged from before Thursday’s debate and his acerbic feud with Kelly.

Far be it from me to suggest that Trump supporters must have tapioca pudding for brains.

There’s nothing debatable about Kasich and Rubio trumping The Donald

If Donald Trump wasn’t leading the field in the Republican presidential sweepstakes, last night’s first debate would have drawn as much interest as a zoning ordinance meeting.

It simply is way too early to get serious about the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s flamboyant rhetoric and egocentric shenanigans have endeared him to mad-as-hell voters and magnetized media coverage.

Discontent explodes on the gunpowder of his personality.

I believe that the debate was the beginning of the end for Trump. He gradually will be exposed as a man not qualified to govern because he refuses to let facts and reality infiltrate his mind.

Perhaps he doesn’t have time to study up because managing his comb-over swallows up his time.

So Trump resorts to nonsensical bombast. Last night he called American leaders stupid.

On the crowded debate stage, you saw the contrast between the mere firebrand ideological zealots and the politicians who have the skills to actually govern.

If you want my two cents’ worth, the two most impressive candidates were Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida.

Kasich, obviously not a marquee name nationwide as yet, exuded vision, experience and leadership qualities.

Rubio exhibited commanding stage presence, great enthusiasm and deep policy knowledge.

But like I said, you can’t call a race right out of the starting gate.

You don’t mess around with God

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape; you don’t spit into the wind; you don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger; you don’t try to fool the IRS; you don’t argue with a Glock pointed in your face; you don’t accept bribes; you don’t fantasize about Ellen DeGeneres; you don’t seek shelter under Kim Kardashian’s ass; and you don’t mess around with God.

Veteran Houston running back Arian Foster confesses that he’s an atheist in the latest edition of ESPN The Magazine and then suffers a groin injury on a pass play Monday night during the Texans’ first fully padded training camp practice.

Now he’s scheduled to undergo groin surgery in Philadelphia Friday.

It’s too late for Foster to fall to his knees and repent if he pleases. He might re-injure his groin.

Perhaps divine intervention had nothing to do with Foster’s groin injury.

Then again, once upon a time God did create the Great Flood to wipe out the entire human race outside of Moses and his family plus two of every kind of animal species (I can only imagine what Noah’s ark smelled like).

Just saying.