By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
HAS THE ESTABLISHMENT WON THE GOP'S CIVIL WAR? No one has fired up Republicans more than one person: President Obama. But with his political spotlight gradually starting to fade as he inevitably slides into the role of second-term lame duck in the White House, will Obama be as much of a motivating factor for Republican voters this fall as he's been in recent elections? "For voters more in the middle, I am concerned that he may be becoming almost irrelevant," Steven Law, president of the leading Republican super PAC, American Crossroads, said in an interview with ABC's JEFF ZELENY, host of "The Fine Print." Four months before the midterm elections, with Republicans within reach of winning control of the Senate, that's one of the questions on Law's mind: Is stopping Obama as urgent for Republicans as it was in 2010, when the GOP won back the House? WATCH: http://yhoo.it/1m9ZYxa
ABC's RICK KLEIN: It's time to take Gov. Rick Perry seriously again - and no, that has nothing to do with his glasses. Has any 2016er had a better summer than Perry? He's been the face of the opposition to President Obama on the immigration crisis that's been the biggest domestic story of the last several weeks. And his decision to engage Sen. Rand Paul on foreign policy places him in the middle of the emerging debate that could well define the 2016 Republican primaries. Even Paul's response today, in a dueling op-ed that tweaks Perry for both the immigration crisis and his recent switch to glasses over contacts, builds the Texas governor up as the face of the GOP establishment: "Tough talk like Perry's might inspire some for the moment, but when bombast becomes policy it can have long and disastrous consequences." http://politi.co/1tHV04j
ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: Think it's too early for 2016 talk? Look no further than the dueling op-eds between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Facing off against each on other on opposing foreign policy viewpoints they are both staking their claim early and Paul makes it clear he is willing to fight back immediately once he feels his views are being skewed. Over the weekend, Perry wrote in the Washington Post Paul's views are dangerous to the country, calling Perry "curiously blind" to the threats the country faces. "Ignoring the growth of the Islamic State and events in Syria and Iraq will only ensure that the problem will fester and grow," Perry said responding to Paul's op-ed last month in the Wall Street Journal. But, Paul hit back hard almost immediately writing in Politico, "Rick Perry is dead wrong," and even teasing him about his new black rimmed glasses and calling it a "fictionalized account" of his foreign policy. This is clearly an establishment vs. libertarian or even tea party view of foreign policy and it's a fight waging across the country in primary fights, but this is on a much bigger stage. We can expect to see it front and center in the lead up to 2016 and then on both the campaign trail and the debate stage.
with ABC's SCOTT WILSON
OBAMA SAYS GOP LAWSUIT WILL COST TAX DOLLARS. In his weekly radio/YouTube address, President Obama derided House Republicans' planned lawsuit against him, warning that GOP lawmakers will spend taxpayer dollars on a frivolous legal challenge, ABC's CHRIS GOOD reports. "It's a political stunt that's going to waste months of America's time. And by the way, they're going to pay for it using your hard-earned tax dollars," Obama said. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has orchestrated the beginnings of a lawsuit against the president over his use of executive authority. As the White House and the GOP-controlled House have failed to compromise on a slew of issues during Obama's tenure, the president has repeatedly sought to circumvent political intransigence with unilateral executive action, often accusing Republicans of refusing to compromise. Republicans, in turn, have alleged that Obama is not sincerely interested in working with them and has overreached beyond his authority. The lawsuit will focus on Obama's massaging of his signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act. http://abcn.ws/1rgEDrd
HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIR GOODLATTE DISMISSES CALLS FOR OBAMA IMPEACHMENT. House Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, said Sunday on "This Week" that he won't push for the impeachment of President Obama, despite recent calls by some Republicans, according to ABC's KARI REA. "We are not working on or drawing up articles of impeachment," Goodlatte told ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on "This Week" Sunday. "The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of the President of the United States. He has not committed the kind of criminal acts that call for that." Other Republicans, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have rallied for impeachment charges against Obama. In a recent column published on Breitbart.com, Palin wrote "It's time to impeach…The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored." While Goodlatte said this morning that he won't pursue impeachment, he did express support for House Speaker John Boeher's efforts to sue Obama for overstepping presidential authority through his use of executive orders to modify aspects of the Affordable Care Act. http://abcn.ws/1ycOZvr
ON HEELS OF SPY CONTROVERSY, KERRY MEETS WITH GERMAN COUNTERPART IN VIENNA. This may well have been very awkward, notes ABC's CHRIS GOOD. Three days after Germany expelled the CIA's top official in Germany, Secretary of State John Kerry met with his German counterpart, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, along with U.S. and German delegations in Vienna. The meeting was not called to address the intelligence controversy, which arose after new allegations of U.S. spying on Germany, after the NSA's reported eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew a sharp reaction last year. As the meeting got under way, Kerry wished Germany good luck in today's World Cup final, and he made no mention of spying as he addressed reporters after the meeting ended. "Let me emphasize, the relationship between the United States and Germany is a strategic one. We have enormous political cooperation and we are great friends and we will continue to work together in the kind of spirit that we exhibited today," Kerry said, according to a pool reporter traveling with him. Steinmeier spoke in German without translation after the meeting. http://abcn.ws/U2e10P
4 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER. Attorney General Eric Holder sat down with ABC's PIERRE THOMAS for an interview that aired Sunday on "This Week." ABC's BENJAMIN BELL has the scoop with four things you might not know about Holder. 1. HIS PERSONAL LIFE: Holder was born in New York City and went to Stuyvesant High School. He earned an undergraduate degree in American history from Columbia University and later a law degree from Columbia Law School. 2. HIS CAREER: Holder is the 82nd Attorney General of the United States and the first African-American to hold the position. 3. HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH REPUBLICANS AS AG: Holder - who is the only member of the cabinet to be held in contempt of Congress - has had an especially prickly relationship with some House Republicans. 4. HIS REAGAN CONNECTION: Despite his seemingly tense relationship with Congressional Republicans, some might be surprised to know Holder actually was nominated by President Reagan in 1988 to become an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. http://abcn.ws/U7DYN1
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
CHECK OUT OBAMA'S MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR MARTHA'S VINEYARD VACATION PAD. The commander-in-chief will be beach bummin' it in Martha's Vineyard, Mass, this summer, and the home he is reportedly renting out looks amazing, note ABC's ERIN DOOLEY and BENJAMIN SIEGEL. President Obama and the first lady are planning a two-week vacation at a seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom home in Chilmark, the Martha's Vineyard Times reports. The first family will travel to the island from Aug. 9 to Aug. 24, making the 15-day getaway the longest summer vacation of Obama's presidency. While the location of their vacation home was supposed to be under wraps, neighbors confirmed to the local newspaper that the Obamas will be staying at a luxurious home owned by Joanne Hubschman, whose late husband, Henry, was a former executive at General Electric. The 17-room house, worth an estimated $12 million, sits on a 10-acre lot and features an infinity pool, a dual tennis-basketball court, an indoor gym and views of the Vineyard Sound, according to the Martha's Vineyard Times. http://abcn.ws/1q4bEtA
@aterkel: "Huckabee has in just a few years racked up at least $253,000 in private air travel bills" http://politi.co/1q9Y6wu
@benpershing: Good @wpjenna profile of @RepAndyHarrisMD, who's been battling DC over its marijuana law http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-congressman-andy-harris-how-he-came-to-challenge-dcs-marijuana-law/2014/07/13/42e3f6b0-0a42-11e4-a0dd-f2b22a257353_story.html …
@mviser: Big contrast from post Scott Brown: In 2010, GOP had candidate in all but one race. Every Democrat had primary or general challenge in 2012.