By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Nashville, Ind.

1. Just when it couldn't get any worse ...

Here are your Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas power fruit cake talking points. Government shutdown is at five days, nine hours. President Trump had an awful pre-Christmas week before lamenting on Christmas Eve that he was home alone ("poor me," except he wasn't; he was with Melania). The Dow was in free-fall, the government is closed as he pines for his border wall that the Republican Congress repeatedly took a pass on, the president told a 7-year-old girl that belief in Santa Claus at her age is "marginal," Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin rattled the markets, and a second Guatemalan child refugee died in U.S. custody. Then on Christmas Eve, the Trumps (and Vice President and Mrs. Pence) showed up at the National Cathedral where they heard the Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde contextualize a refugee controversy: “You only have to read the first sentence of the story to know that there are deep social implications to it, should we place ourselves in this story."

But wait! On Christmas Day 2, the First Couple showed up in Iraq, his first trip as president to a conflict zone. And the Dow surged a record 1,000 points, putting the Bears at bay for a few days after the worst December since 1931. Trump told the troops in Iraq, “We’re no longer the suckers, folks. The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world. It’s not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States.” And he ain't backing down on the Syrian pullout, saying he told his generals, “They said again, recently, can we have more time? I said, ‘Nope.’ You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time. We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly. I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It’s time for us to start using our head.”

2. Trump trouble in bellwether Vigo

Vigo County is an American bellwether, having backed the winning presidential candidate in all but two elections since the 1890s. It backed President Obama twice andDonald Trump in 2016. The Terre Haute Tribune-Star did one of those unscientific online reader polls (with 569 respondents as of mid-morning, including some from outside Vigo County) on how folks would rate President Trump's first two years in office. The results: 34.1% say excellent, 4.6% good, 2.5% fair, and 58.9% poor. 

3. Gov. Holcomb approval at 65%

A Public Opinion Strategies Poll for the Indiana Realtors puts Gov. Eric Holcomb's approval at 65% with just 22% disapproving. The right/wrong track stands at 55/33%. As for the coming hate crimes legislation which Holcomb supports, 73% support (56% strongly support) and 24% opposed.

4. Holcomb and Christmas

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's Niki Kelly pressed Gov. Holcomb on holiday particulars: Favorite Christmas movie: "Die Hard." Real or fake tree: Real. What did he get First Dog Henry? Ugly sweater. Open presents Christmas Eve or Day: Both. Favorite song; "Silent Night" (particularly after his Taylor University basketball game, which he described in his HPI Interivew). 

5. Mariota questionable

The surging Indianapolis Colts may not face Tennessee Titan QB Marcus Mariota, who took a neck stinger that left his entire right side "numb and tingly" last week. Mariota said he is doing “everything in my power” to play in the 8:20 p.m. Sunday flex game in Nashville, with the winner going to the playoffs. The Colts aren't exactly healthy, with C Ryan Kelly and TE Eric Ebron questionable, though T.Y. Hilton says he will play. Colts QB Andrew Luck has never lost to the Titans. If Mariota can't play, the 9-6 Colts will face either Austin Davis or Blaine Gabbert.

Enjoy the holidays, folks. It's The Atomic!