NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


'Bachelorette': Mean Girls Make A Sport Of Spite

Sep 6, 2012

The three protagonists of Bachelorette do some pretty terrible things: They talk trash behind a fourth friend's back, kvetching bitterly about having to be bridesmaids at her wedding. They publicly leak her old high school nickname, which happens to be "Pigface."

And just hours before the wedding, as the bride-to-be is getting her beauty sleep, two of them try to cram into her wedding gown as a gag — she's a plus-sized cupcake of a woman — and rip it seemingly beyond repair.

For the first half of Bachelorette, these bridesmaids from hell — they're played by Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan, and their bride-to-be friend is Rebel Wilson — have no redeeming qualities. But in the second half, glimmers of humanity begin to show through their shallow, brittle facades.

And where's the fun in that? One of the most reprehensible bits of marketing-speak to make its way into common usage in recent years is the word "relatable," which, when we're talking about fictional characters, has come to mean figures who somehow reinforce our own vague ideas about how people should behave — chiefly so we can feel better about ourselves. No one should be too mean or too venal, or, for that matter, too nice. It's a stricture that leaches all the color out of make-believe characters, and the kitty-cat harridans of Bachelorette suffer for it.

That's a drag, because the lion's share of Bachelorette, written and directed by Leslye Headland, is unnervingly entertaining. The picture is less self-congratulatory than the movie to which it will inevitably be compared, Bridesmaids (in which Wilson also appears); instead of telegraphing its "Girls can be raunchy, too!" message every minute, Bachelorette simply allows its characters' ids to run naked and free.

When Caplan, barely blinking her Theda Bara eyes, eagerly suggests that Fischer and Dunst cram themselves into that wedding dress so she can snap a photo of it and tag the bride's Facebook page, she's not looking over her shoulder to make sure everyone's taking note of how brazen she is. She's simply a monster of modern self-absorption.

The same goes for Dunst's character, an event planner who has grudgingly orchestrated every minute of Wilson's wedding, all the while seething with resentment because she's not the one getting married. Dunst has a face that can be radiantly sunny one minute and stonily closed off the next. We see both here, and the effect, accented by her sharp comic timing, is both funny and unsettling.

Fischer's character is the most clueless and least vindictive of the three — she's also the biggest druggie, unable to resist any snort that comes her way — and Fischer plays her, with scary precision, as a space-case sweetie-pie, a naif who means no harm but nevertheless wreaks havoc by repeatedly failing to stand up for anything or anyone.

There are guys in Bachelorette, too: Adam Scott plays Caplan's estranged high-school boyfriend, and though the picture falters when it tries to get serious, Caplan and Scott are lovely in a tentative reconciliation scene. And James Marsden shows up as a fellow wedding attendee, the kind of entitled jerk who goes to a strip club and dismisses an enthusiastic dancer by handing her a 20-dollar bill and announcing, "Thank you, that was amazing, but I'm bored now."

That line is as cutting as it is funny, a way for Headland (by way of Marsden) to slap down boorish male behavior without turning the moment into a mini-lecture. And it's an example of the way Bachelorette, at its best, is entertaining in a way that doesn't guarantee comfort or safety.

But Headland, after bravely writing characters whose degree of self-involvement is off the charts, tries half-heartedly to soften their edges: Fischer commits a dangerously desperate act; tough-girl Caplan really is just looking for love; and Dunst — well, by the end, she still isn't very nice, but we're supposed to have a better understanding of why.

The characters in Bachelorette are most human when they're behaving badly. They break the spell when they turn into women we can merely relate to.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit