By ARLETTE SAENZ (@arlettesaenz)
ABC's JEFF ZELENY: Gov. Rick Perry's swagger is as bold as ever in the wake of his felony indictment. He's accused of abusing the power of his office and will be required to pay a visit to the county courthouse in Austin in the coming days. But Perry is hardly cowering at home in Texas. Instead, he's running off to New Hampshire later this week to keep his 2016 aspirations fresh on the minds of Republican activists. There's no question that Perry won the early round of shaping the public perception of the case against him. He received an unexpected boost from a pair of Democrats, with David Axelrod calling the grand jury indictment sketchy and Alan Dershowitz blasting it as ridiculous. Yet for all of the legal questions about the charges, they are serious and he must treat them as such. The indictments also take away something that successful presidential candidates have: Control. The judicial system will dictate the timing of events, not Perry. The charges will almost certainly rally his base of supporters, but could the case also open the door for reporters and rivals to take a deeper look at his Texas record? He's aggressively shaped the state's government and a local story has now become a national one, with 14 years of material to chew over.
ABC's RICK KLEIN: No governor, of course, wants or needs "indicted" in front of his title. But there's a chance that the surprise indictment of Gov. Rick Perry redounds to his benefit. Assuming the prosecution collapses long before anything reaches trial - an assumption, but not an unreasonable one - Perry has been handed a potentially defining cause for the remainder of his time in office, and perhaps beyond. The lines on the stump about taking on a drunk-driving (Democratic) prosecutor and protecting taxpayer funds practically write themselves. (As opposed to, say, how Gov. Chris Christie will have to talk about the bridge-closing scandal, even if he's fully exonerated.) Perry is keeping up a schedule that looks 2016ish, including a trip to New Hampshire next week, even as his lawyers figure out the next steps back in Austin. With less than half a year left in office, Republican crowds will have something easy to, yes, remember about Perry.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
GIANT KILLER? MEET THE DEMOCRAT WHO COULD CRUSH SCOTT WALKER'S 2016 DREAMS. Scott Walker is widely considered one of the GOP's presidential hopefuls. But before the Wisconsin governor can run for president in 2016, he needs to win his bid for reelection in 2014 - and that means getting past his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke. Burke, the first woman nominated for governor in Wisconsin by a major political party and a former executive of her family's successful business, Trek Bicycles, is proving to be a formidable obstacle. The most recent polling shows the partisan rivals locked in a dead heat. In the contentious campaign between Walker and Burke, job creation in the Dairy Land is ground zero, and Burke sat down with RICK KLEIN and YAHOO's OLIVIER KNOX of "Top Line" to discuss Walker and her views on job creation. http://yhoo.it/1oJ2JfG
with ABC's SCOTT WILSON
OBAMA'S VACATION BY THE NUMBERS. As President Obama interrupts his vacation for two days of meetings at the White House, ABC's MARY BRUCE has a look at how he spent the past week on Martha's Vineyard: During NINE days of vacation, the president played SIX rounds of golf on TWO courses with 11 different partners, spending roughly 29.5 hours on the links. He made TWO family outings to the beach, spending roughly SIX and a HALF hours soaking up the sun and surf. He spoke by phone with 11 different international leaders and delivered TWO public statements on TWO different topics, Iraq and the situation in Ferguson, Mo. http://abcn.ws/1rMxmhQ
MISSOURI GOV. JAY NIXON 'THUNDERSTRUCK' BY IMAGES OF FERGUSON POLICE. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Sunday he was astounded by some of the images that came out of Ferguson depicting what he described as an "over-militarization" of the police force, ABC's BENJAMIN BELL reports. "I, all of us were thunderstruck by the pictures we saw," Nixon told ABC's MARTHA RADDATZ in an interview in Ferguson. "I mean, the over-militarization, the MRAPs rolling in, the guns pointed at kids in the street. All of that I think instead of ratcheting down brought emotion up." But Nixon rejected responsibility for failing to quell the ongoing unrest in Ferguson. "I've been here almost every day," he said. "The bottom line: we've been focused on meeting with groups, meeting with the parents, making sure that we were set up and then taking the unprecedented action on Wednesday to replace and to bring in the Highway Patrol." http://abcn.ws/1rJhBIo
PENTAGON RELEASES VIDEO OF AIRSTRIKES NEAR MOSUL DAM. Two videos, posted to YouTube by the U.S. military's Central Command Sunday, show U.S. missiles striking Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) vehicles on Saturday near Mosul Dam-an armored truck and a Humvee, according to the Pentagon. The U.S. military continued airstrikes on ISIS positions near the dam on Sunday, after launching nine on Saturday, to support a Kurdish and Iraqi ground operation to retake the dam, ABC's CHRIS GOOD reports. Iraq's largest dam, Mosul Dam is also Iraq's most dangerous, requiring daily cement grouting work to prevent a breach. ISIS forces overtook the dam earlier this month. It continued operating, under ISIS control, an Iraqi government official told ABC News last week. The dam sits 80 miles northwest of Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region where U.S. military advisers and some diplomats are stationed. ISIS's advance toward Erbil prompted U.S. airstrikes to support Kurdish forces fighting ISIS. http://abcn.ws/1pV8q8s
REP. KINZINGER: 'WORST CASE SCENARIO' FOR MIDEAST PLAYING OUT IN IRAQ, SYRIA. Rep. Adam Kinzinger issued a stark warning about recent events in Iraq Sunday on "This Week" and called for the extremist group ISIS, which has seized large amounts of territory within the country, to be crushed, ABC's JAKE LEFFERMAN and ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN note. "What we're watching in Iraq and Syria frankly is the worst case scenario for the Middle East," Kinzinger, R-Ill., told ABC's MARTHA RADDATZ. "What we've begun doing is very good, but I think we have to get even bigger and realize that the crushing and pushing back of ISIS, not only in Iraq but also in Syria, is utmost priority," he said. Kinzinger was positive about the U.S. response but said the Obama administration could do more to push back ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria. "The president has got to stand up in front of the American people and say, 'Look, you may be war-weary, but in five or ten years we don't want to look back and say we missed all the signs,'" Kinzinger said. http://abcn.ws/Vx1hjC
'ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK' STAR LAVERNE COX'S ONE WISH FOR AMERICA. Laverne Cox, star of the Netflix hit series "Orange Is the New Black," is breaking barriers for the transgender community both on and off the screen, notes ABC's BENJAMIN BELL. "One thing I would wish for America…[are] spaces where we have real gender freedom, where we…create spaces of gender self-determination, where we don't police people's genders or we don't tell people that they're not supposed to act a certain way," Cox said in an interview for "This Week" with ABC's BYRON PITTS. Cox has spent her whole life dealing with discrimination and harassment. Growing up in Mobile, Ala., she was constantly bullied for her gender expression, she said. "So many trans folks have said that they see themselves reflected in this character," Cox said. "Having your story told validates your experience. It's like, 'I'm not alone anymore, and maybe I'll be OK." Cox has helped raise awareness and give voice to members of the trans community, pushing forward this newest battle on the civil rights front. http://abcn.ws/1lbBB8I
LAWMAKERS RIP FERGUSON POLICE RESPONSE TO PROTESTERS. Since protests erupted over the death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old African American man shot to death by a Caucasian police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, police clad in riot gear have unleashed tear gas and smoke bombs to try to control demonstrators, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY reports. The law enforcement response to the protest has been labeled overly combative, even militaristic - and lawmakers are now concerned that the situation is emblematic of a more pervasive problem. Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich, Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., have officially called for Congressional hearings to examine "the extensive militarization of state and local police." In a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., they noted: "Mr. Brown's killing highlights what appears to be a continuing pattern of the use of deadly force by police against unarmed African Americans in cities around the nation." Hearings could address what the congressmen described as "long-simmering racial tensions between an overwhelmingly white police force and a majority African-American population." http://abcn.ws/1vSoTAb
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
"SCHATZ WINS OVER VOTERS IN TOUGH US SENATE PRIMARY," by Cathy Bussewitz of the Associated Press. "Incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz won a tense Democratic primary election in Hawaii, proving that he is no longer just a senator who was appointed to his seat - he has captured the confidence of Hawaii voters. The dramatic race to finish the term of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye was tinged with emotional residue from the past. Schatz was challenged by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who at one point said that he wasn't a true incumbent because he had been appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie after Inouye's dying wish that Hanabusa replace him…Schatz edged out Hanabusa, capturing 48.5 percent of the vote, compared with Hanabusa's 47.8 percent." http://abcn.ws/1BsUuZu
IN THE NOTE'S INBOX
NHGOP WELCOMES GOVERNOR RICK PERRY TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement on Governor Rick Perry's upcoming visit to New Hampshire. Governor Perry will attend a Victory Rally with Republican activists in Stratham on August 23rd: "The New Hampshire Republican State Committee is proud to host elected officials and conservative leaders from across the country. We welcome their visits to our state to meet our outstanding grassroots activists and discuss their vision for the future of our country."
@PageSix: Chris Christie busted out wild dance moves at a Hamptons party this weekend http://pge.sx/1mZrsac
@etchaStech: #WarOnWomen RT @KilloughCNN: Wall Street Journal reports @GovChristie was dancing to "Single Ladies" http://online.wsj.com/articles/apollo-night-is-a-hit-in-the-hamptons-1408323788 …
@gdebenedetti: It's official: today, for the first time in 13 years, Eric Cantor is not a member of Congress.
@Pontifex: So many innocent people have been driven from their homes in Iraq. Lord, we pray they may go back soon.