By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. A sleepy presidential address

Here are your hump talk power lunch talking point sans camel: What was that all about? President Trump had nothin' on "Sleepin' Joe Donnelly when he gave a lackluster 10 minute speech from the Oval Office Tuesday night that simply was a recast for his rationale to shut a good chunk of the federal government down  in order to get his border wall. He came off like a kid in the corner reading something the teacher ordered. He called the wall "absolutely critical to border security." The response from Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi was compared to Grant Wood's "American Gothic"  or the "Shining"  twins. “President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government,” Pelosi said. It begs a similar question to the one we kept asking in 2016 as Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton: Out of 325 million Americans, are these three the best we can really do?

On MSNBC's Morning Joe  as well as CNN  last night, Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd, whose district includes hundreds of miles of border, came off as a guy everyone ought to be listening to. “Building a 30-foot high concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” said Hurd, a former CIA agent who added that if this was a true crisis, "the people dealing with it should get paid."  Hurd is a proponent of funding a "smart wall" that would combine technologies such as drones and other surveillance tools, as well as more funds and assets for the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He notes that most illegal drugs come via "ports of entry," and not via immigrants. Tell us more, Rep. Hurd

2. Trump didn't even want to give the speech

Axios  and the NYT  reported President Trump didn't even want to give the speech, or go to the border this week. Speaking to TV news anchors, Trump said, "It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it.  The trip was merely a photo opportunity." He gestured to communications aides Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway and said, "These people behind you say it’s worth it." By the way, the government shutdown is at 18 days, three short of the record. A Reuters/Ipsos  poll released on Tuesday revealed 51% believe Trump “deserves most of the blame," while 32% blame Democrats. Those numbers are similar to Trump's Gallup approve/disapprove, which stands at 39/55%.

3. Pence and Trump lies

Last Friday President Trump claimed the four living former presidents wanted a wall, saying, "This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me. And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it."  But Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush43 and Obama all denied it. Vice President Mike Pence did the network morning shows Tuesday and tried to explain it. "I know the President has said that that was his impression  from previous administrations, previous presidents," Pence said. C'mon, man.

4. School bus safety emotion

If there's an emotional issue shaping up for the General Assembly this session, it is State Sen. Randy Head's school bus safety bill. He was motivated to file it after three Fulton County kids - Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their 9-year old sister Alivia Stahl - were killed awaiting for the bus last fall. “No family should ever have to experience a loss of this kind, and I am hopeful this legislation, if passed, would help prevent similar accidents from occurring by encouraging drivers to slow down, follow the rules of the road and keep the safety of our children in mind,” Head said. It would increase penalties for drivers who ignore school bus "stop" arms. Brittany Ingle, the mother said, “All my kids were so happy, always laughing, always smiling. They had such contagious smiles. Life is so short, you never think in a million years that ... “It’s gonna happen to you,” husband Shane Ingle said, finishing her sentence.

5. Holcomb, Trump addresses

Gov. Eric Holcomb will give his State of the State address at 7 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 15. His government will be open for business.  President Trump will give his State of the Union address on Jan. 29. It will be interesting to see if his government is still closed.

Stay warm, folks. It's The Atomic!