By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. 2020 preezy preview

 Here are your Monday power lunch talking points: We got a sneak peak of 2020 presidential politics this past weekend, with Vice President Pence at Taylor University, Mayor Pete Buttigieg doing a Fox News town hall Sunday night, while Rep. Eric Swalwell did Democratic campaign events in Indianapolis and Columbus (where his wife is from). Pence received a standing ovation  despite about 40 students and staff walking out prior to his commencement address at the Upland campus. With Roe v. Wade scenarios flying in the wake of Alabama’s draconian abortion law restrictions, Pence used his address to inspire students. "Wherever life takes you, take a service attitude. Consider others as more important than yourselves. Go show the world every day, that we can love God and love our neighbor at the same time."

Mayor Pete spent his hour with host Chris Wallace on Fox talking about minority voters and issues. But his comments on President Trump and Fox News commentators like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham created a buzz. "Look, it's mesmerizing,” he said of Trump. "It's hard for anybody to look away. Me too. It is the nature of grotesque things that you can't look away. Look, what we’re trying to do here is different because the moment that we’re in is different." As for appearing on Fox, Buttigieg said, “If we ignore the viewers of Fox News and every news platform that doesn’t share our worldview, we will surrender our ability to speak directly to millions of American voters. If we don’t show up, the conservative media will tell our side of the story for us.” 

Trump was not happy, tweeting, "Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him. Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems. They got dumped from the Democrats boring debates, and they just want in. They forgot the people." Ummmm, biting my tongue on that one.

2. Swalwell draws a packed room

Rep. Swalwell drew a packed crowd of 250 people in Pence's hometown of Columbus. The Republic  reported: Swalwell said he would like to institute universal background checks on every firearm purchase in the United States, and “ban and buy back the 15 million assault rifles”  which he said should only be the hands of military and cops. On health care, he said, “My plan … is Medicare for anyone who wants it. If you’re sick, you’re seen (by a doctor). If you’re seen, you don’t go broke, regardless of your income, regardless of your employer, regardless of your luck. A public option where the government has the responsibility to make sure that we protect people with pre-existing conditions, to put pressure on the private insurers to bring down the costs.”

3. Noonan sees 'torn up' nation

Peggy Noonan, the Wall Street Journal  columnist and former speechwriter for President Reagan, addressed Notre Dame grads Saturday. She urged them to unify, saying, “America is a torn-up, wounded place in need of repair.”  Notre Dame Valedictorian Sofia Nina Carozza of South Bend St. Joseph's HS, told her classmates, “We are going forward from Notre Dame not as bystanders, but as protagonists of justice and mercy. So we must risk everything.”

4. Rep. Amash and Trump

Republican U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan tweeted over the weekend about the Mueller report: "Here are my principal conclusions: 1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report. 2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. 3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances. 4. Few members of Congress have read the report." Amash later tweeted of many of his colleagues: "Their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation — and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements  on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release." Of the Indiana delegation, Rep. Susan Brooks and U.S. Sen. Todd Young said after the report release they were reviewing. The other Republicans quickly declared there was no collusion and President Trump was exonerated. Our question for them: Did these Members actually read the report?

5. 'American Taliban' leaving Terre Haute

The "American Taliban" - John Walker Lindh - has been incarcerated at the federal prison in Terre Haute. He's scheduled to be released on Thursday three years early in a 20-year sentence, apparently for good behavior. This Terre Haute clink is often home to domestic terrorists and ex-Illinois governors.

Thanks for reading, folks. It's The Atomic!