By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Schmuhl connects dots of hate

There’s a farmer near Macy who is flying a Nazi flag adjacent to the Nickel Plate Trail. Since 2015 and the emergence of Donald Trump, I’ve noticed an untick in crude, intolerant incidents at town board, city council and county commissioner meetings and now school boards across Indiana, as well as “F— Biden” flags flying in Hammond and Kokomo. Jerry Piotter told the Kokomo Tribune  the Nazi flag isn’t meant to threaten anyone, but as a reaction to President Biden. “They’re telling us what to do and when to do it and how you’re going to do it," Piotter said. "Everything Trump did to get this country straightened out, those silly bastards have gone against it. They might as well get used to seeing it now. It will be flying over the White House before it’s all over. Within a year, that will be the new American flag.”

Indiana Democratic Chairman Mike Schmuhl is calling on Indiana Republicans and leaders to denounce the flag. "With the election of Donald Trump, he sort of allowed this sort of behavior to run rampant. You connect the dots throughout his political career, from the time he decided to run for president until now, Charlottsville ... clearing a square of protesters to hold up a Bible, and the big one - Jan. 6 - the one that sort of pierced the heart of our democracy, trying to overturn the election results. You can kind of connect the dots between the time he announced for the presidency until now. He’s basically given agency, given permission for folks who normally been on the fringe or outcasts to occur. It’s dangerous and it poisons our democracy."

Schmuhl adds, "You look at previous Republican presidents and nominees - both Bushes, John McCain, Mitt Romney - they’ve all in one form or another denounced Donald Trump and the lines he has crossed. What I see here in Indiana now, over the past week or two, is you have a state senator who has been found to be a member of the Oath Keepers, which was part of Jan. 6, and you have a farmer out there in Macy flying a Nazi flag. When the Republican Party in our state and other leaders don’t come forward and denounce that, it allows it to continue. It allows it to be acceptable. Being a member of Oath Keepers, who attacked democracy, who attacked our Capitol Building on Jan. 6, to not be able to denounce that is unacceptable. To see the Nazi flag fly above farm land in Indiana is just unacceptable."

2. Wells County judge dismisses lawsuit

WANE-TV: A judge has dismissed a lawsuit issued by Yergy’s State Road Barbecue, a Bluffton-based restaurant that was shut down in August 2020 after failing to comply with the state’s mask mandate. In December, owner Matt Yergler filed suit against the Wells County Health Department, the state and Gov. Eric Holcomb. The lawsuit stated that the business was “aggrieved and adversely affected” when it shut down. Yergler argued it was a question of individual liberty. The mask mandate was downgraded to an advisory in April, and Yergy’s reopened after passing health inspections. A judge has dismissed a lawsuit arguing that the “subsequent actions by the Governor and the Indiana General Assembly have made issues presented in the complaint moot.” 

3. Holcomb releases police review

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb released the findings of a report assessing the curriculum, training standards, policies and practices of all state-level law enforcement agencies. “I made a commitment to fostering an inclusive and equitable environment for all Hoosiers to take part in and that commitment meant taking a critical look at our state’s law enforcement,” Gov. Holcomb said. “By commissioning a third-party review, we have assessed what state law enforcement agencies are doing well and where we can improve. As the assessment progressed, the agencies initiated an implementation of some of the recommendations and are working toward reviewing and implementing the remaining items. I will continue to do my part to assure the citizens of Indiana that law enforcement officers are operating according to the highest standards.”

4. Sen. Young wonders where the workers are
U.S. Sen. Todd Young was in Ellettsville last Friday and said of the massive labor shortage: "We had 120,000 available jobs in August; we're up to 150,000 right now. I don't know where everyone is. What do they do with their time? So the health care workforce is burnt out. It's a pandemic. Go to rural communities, they barely keep these long-term care facilities open and hospitals open because of shortages."

5. Sen. Manchin 'out of sync' with Democrats

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.): “I’m totally out of sync with 48 other Democrats. I love them all. And I love all the Republicans. So I’m just trying to survive in a very, very, very divided Congress in a very divided country.”

Have a great day, folks, and thanks for reading. It's The Atomic!