By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Trump up by 8% in Indiana

President Trump held an 8% lead in Indiana in a CBS/YouGov Tracking poll. Trump had a 53-45% lead over Democrat Joe Biden. The MOE was 6%. But that was taken before Jeffrey Goldberg's bombshell report in The Atlantic  late last week quoting high ranking White House insiders who said President Trump called U.S. military war dead "losers" and those who fought in Vietnam "suckers."

Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin cited two unnamed former senior administration officials who she said confirmed many key aspects of The Atlantic story about Trump’s cancellation of a trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery while visiting Paris in 2018. She told Fox News' Neil Cavuto, "My sources include two senior former Trump administration officials who were on the trip to France where these remarks allegedly were made. They confirmed key parts of The Atlantic  article and certainly described a pattern of behavior by the president in describing war veterans and wounded warriors that coincides with the description in The Atlantic  article." She also confirmed the "suckers" comment. “According to one former senior Trump administration official: ‘When the President spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker,’” she wrote. 

The only reaction from the Indiana congressional delegation was defiant Trump defender U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, who tweeted: "Barack Obama despised our military and loathed its leadership. Donald Trump rebuilt our military, prioritized the care of our veterans and adopted Reagan’s 'Peace thru Strength”' mantra in a way that would make the Gipper proud."

2. Trump: Generals are profiteers

President Trump held a Labor Day presser in which he defended himself from The Atlantic  article, saying, "Only an animal would say a thing like that.” He then described U.S. military generals as profiteers. Trump said leaders at the Pentagon probably weren’t “in love with me” because “they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy. Some people don’t like to come home, some people like to continue to spend money. One cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another, that’s what it was.” 
 
3. Hoosier union membership declines

On Labor Day, the NWI Times'  Joseph Pete reported: Indiana union membership fell again last year, dropping for the third straight year as part of an ongoing national trend. The number of workers in the Hoosier state represented by unions fell to 296,000, down from a recent high of 335,000 in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage of Indiana workers represented by unions has dropped to 9.8% in 2019, down from 12% in 2014 and a recent high of 12.4% in 2011. 

4. Sen. Merritt ready for 'next chapter'

State Sen. Jim Merritt will leave the Indiana Senate in November, but he's not retiring. "I don't like the term 'retiring,'" he told Howey Politics Indiana  this morning. "I want to take some time, write a book or two and test the waters for '24. I still have a lot of juice in the tank." Specifically, his reference to 2024 was a potentially open gubernatorial seat, assuming Gov. Eric Holcomb wins in November. Merritt lost the 2019 Indianapolis mayoral race to Democrat Joe Hogsett. "It was difficult running for mayor from the Senate," he said. Former councilor Michael McQuillen has said he will seek the Senate seat via caucus.

5. Buttigieg on Biden transition team

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg was named to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's transition team. He joins former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice; former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Jared Bernstein, a longtime Biden economic adviser; and Dr. Vivek Murthy; former U.S. surgeon general. Biden also named four co-chairs: Anita Dunn, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Cedric Richmond, and former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman.

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