By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Visclosky to pass on Appropriations chair

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: When House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey announced she will not seek reelection, it seemed like a historic opportunity for Indiana U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky to take the helm of the most powerful committee in the world, which oversees $1.3 trillion in spending. But Visclosky is taking a pass, saying that the chaos and turmoil in Washington and around the globe is keeping him in his current role of chairing the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

"Given the serious nature and necessity for continuity to address evolving threats to our national security, I have no intention of seeking the chairmanship of the full House Appropriations Committee," Visclosky told the NWI Times’  Dan Carden. From an Indiana standpoint, the state suffered an erosion of defense appropriations over the past decade, though U.S. Reps. Jim Banks and Jackie Walorski have told HPI that the trend is shifting. So Visclosky staying where he is will be good news for federal military facilities at Crane, Atterbury, Muscatatuck, Terre Haute, Grissom, Fort Wayne, along with our defense contractor cluster. Of course, Democrats have to control the House in 2020 for Visclosky to remain in his current chair.

2. Richmond teacher pay raise

Gov. Eric Holcomb freed up $150 million to retire local school corporation debt and added another $37 million for teacher appreciation grants in the current biennial budget. So he is chagrinned that those savings to local districts haven’t translated into widespread teacher pay hikes. When we traveled with him to Clark County in July, he was confronted by teachers. “We designated $37 million for teacher appreciation grants. So is it not getting to you?” Holcomb asked them. One of the teachers wearing a red ISTA T-shirt responded, “It’s not getting to us.” Holcomb turned to another teacher, saying, “Someone told me you were the local bargainer.” The man responded, “Yeah. It goes to the district, then we have to bargain for it.” So Holcomb has to be pleased that Richmond Community Schools just raised the base teacher salary by $3,000. It's a record pay increase, with the governor hoping other districts follow. 

3. The Trump betrayal unfolding

Here's the Jerusalem Post's  take on President Trump's betrayal of Kurdish fighters in Syria: Never before in history has the U.S. worked with a group and then opened the skies to have another U.S. ally bomb and destroy it. In an unprecedented reversal for Washington’s policy in Syria the Americans armed, trained and encouraged the SDF to liberate wide swaths of Syria from ISIS only to turn around on October 6 and, under the leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump, give Turkey the open skies and borders to attack U.S. partner forces. Like thieves in the night, U.S. forces withdrew from their positions without explanation, processes, discussions, or leaving behind people to monitor the area."

4. Willful misconduct

Washington Post  columnist George Will surveys President Trump's blocking administration employees to testify in the House impeachment inquiry in a column titled "On Trump, the Republican Party is docile, supine and invertebrate."  The historic stakes are high, as Will explained there was "comparable behavior was in 1974." Will: "Then, the House articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon indicted him for failing 'without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by' a House committee, and for having 'interposed the powers of the presidency against the lawful subpoenas' of the House. If Trump gets away with his blanket noncompliance, the Constitution’s impeachment provision, as it concerns presidents, will be effectively repealed, and future presidential corruption will be largely immunized against punishment." This begs the question: If Trump refuses to comply, who enforces the legal response? This is a constitutional crisis unfolding before our eyes. The good news is that dismissed Ukraine envoy Marie Yovanovitch just showed up on Capitol Hill to testify this morning.

5. Nervous Nashville

These are nervous times for bucolic Brown County, and it goes beyond another late autumnal color season. The deaths of transformational businessmen Andy Rogers and then Rick Hofstetter on Oct. 1 have created manifest uncertainty. The Rogers estate will be auctioned off on Oct. 30. This includes 30 business parcels, or about a third of downtown Nashville's tourist center. Hofstetter was not only instrumental in restoring the Athenaeum in Indianapolis, but revived Story, Indiana, home of the Story Inn (one inconvenient location since 1851) beginning in 1999. Much of the village went up for sale for $3.8 million last spring and is still on the market. 

Thanks for reading folks. It's The Atomic!