By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. The sophomoric loser

Here are your Monday power lunch talking points: Just after nine this morning, President Trump tweeted, "I won the election!" This is a sophomoric, ludicrous and dangerous assertion from an apparently unhinged leader. President Trump lost to Joe Biden the Electoral College 306-223 and is trailing in the popular vote 78.7% million to 73.1 million, or 50.9 to 47.3%. Not only is Trump the first American president unwilling to participate in the transition, he appears to have already checked out, refusing his daily intel briefing, not attending the COVID task force meetings, all of this coming as the pandemic is engulfing the nation, with hundreds of hospital ERs running out of ICU beds.

Anderson University President John S. Pistole, who as a former deputy FBI director once gave presidents their daily briefing, told the Herald Bulletin's  Rebecca Bibbs, "Every day that goes by that the smooth transition does not take place puts us at greater risk. The key is for the incoming administration to be briefed on the latest most relevant national security intelligence. It’s so the incoming admin is poised on their first day that they can make informed timely decisions. Then it becomes a question of are there some gaps that might be missed? That’s the last thing we need is for something to be missed and not acted upon during what typically is a vulnerable time for the nation.” Pistole added, "It’s recalcitrant, it’s stubbornness. It undermines confidence both within the U.S and in our foreign partners and our adversaries. Any time there is a gap or perceived gap from one administration to another, whether that’s real or perceived, our enemies will seek ways to exploit that.”

What is glaring is the lack of comment from a single Republican in the Indiana congressional delegation objecting to a lack of an orderly transition, which is key to the peaceful transfer of power Americans had come to expect since 1796. What the Trump/Pence administration is demonstrating is there is no low in their behavior as they continue to assault American institutions.

2. Dr. Carroll's "OMG' Indiana pandemic

Dr. Aaron Carroll of Indiana University's School of Medicine, tweeted Sunday: "Omg, Indiana. It’s either leaders stop playing chicken and make the hard calls now, or we’re going to overwhelm the healthcare system completely and be forced to make ever harder calls soon. Refusing to choose is a choice." Dr. Carroll's tweet came after Indiana reported a record 8,451 new COVID infections on Saturday and 6,844 on Sunday along with another 47 deaths. ICU bed availability stood at 25.5% on Sunday and there were 2,628 COVID patients in Hoosier hospitals.

3. Vigo County bringing in morgue trucks

How bad is the pandemic getting? The Vigo County Health Department is reserving four refrigerated trucks to hold deceased victims of the coronavirus. Indiana Public Media reports that in October, 181 county residents died — nearly a 45% increase from the same month a year ago. County health educator Roni Elder: "Realistically, if we keep up with this, then we will actually have to implement and use those refrigerated trucks." 

4. Owens begins to fill INDem void

Indy tech executive Josh Owens was a brief Democratic governor candidate in 2020. He becomes the first to begin to fill the void, issuing an "open letter to fellow Democrats" for a party barely clinging to major party status. He writes, "I believe the future of a winning Indiana Democratic Party will have these four areas of near-term focus: "First, intense county-level candidate recruitment efforts and staunch support of candidates running. Second, centralized digital and organizing clearinghouse efforts that are run year-round by state party on behalf of upcoming campaigns. Third, message focus that strikes at the heart of both individual and community needs. Finally, fierce and data-driven grassroots fundraising that continues beyond election cycles." Owens finishes: "We must find consensus on a chair that will help us take that first step towards these goals. I am of the belief there is not a perfect person for this job, so we should instead be focused on who can help us get started in building this foundation today. Our success will depend upon how carefully we lift each other up in this transition, for it is certain that standing together is our only path to sharing our values with a larger Hoosier audience." 

5. Kyle Walker elected to SD31

Former Marion County Republican chairman Kyle Walker was elected by caucus to fill the term of State Sen. Jim Merritt in SD31. Merritt is preparing to launch a 2024 gubernatorial campaign.

Have a great week, folks. It's The Atomic!