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The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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!":


The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

Sep 19, 2012
Originally published on September 19, 2012 2:02 pm

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

Fifty years ago, the military, foreign service and top political offices were all dominated by WASPs — white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

"The minimal but unrelenting qualification was to be white, Anglo-Saxon in heritage and Protestant in religion," the cultural critic Joseph Epstein writes in his book Snobbery. "If one was Catholic, or surely Irish Catholic, or Jewish, forget about it; if one was black, don't even think about it."

Because of the country's changing population and shifts in educational opportunities, none of that is true anymore.

WASPs Lose Their Grip

There are plenty of white men with power in this country, but it's become harder to find a WASP holding onto one of the top rungs of the political ladder.

The State Department was once dominated by old-stock aristocrats but hasn't been led by a white man since 1997. Among the four top congressional leaders, only one is a WASP — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who happens to be married to an Asian-American.

The Supreme Court, for the first time in its history, does not boast of a single justice who is Protestant. Instead, there are three Jews and six Catholics — one of them Hispanic, one of them black. And since the 2009 confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, the court also includes three women justices for the first time ever.

"Not a single group can hold onto power in any particular institution going forward," says Guy-Uriel Charles, founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics. "This reflects the fact that we are much more of an open society than we were previously, but we are also a society that by the numbers is increasingly diverse."

The Importance Of Merit

None of this would have seemed possible a half-century ago. Back then, Protestants composed three-quarters of the academic, military and business elites, according to contemporary academic studies.

The rules were so rigid that Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator and 1964 GOP presidential nominee, wasn't allowed to play golf at a club outside Washington that was literally exclusive.

"I'm only half Jewish, so can't I play nine holes?" Goldwater quipped, according to E. Digby Baltzell's classic 1964 study The Protestant Establishment.

But the exclusion of religious minorities from the top ranks of government had already begun to give way with the Great Depression and World War II. Real expertise and individual merit started to matter as much as coming from the right families (at least for men).

"Franklin Roosevelt appointed more Catholics and Jews to his presidency than all previous presidents combined," says Andrew Preston, a Cambridge University historian.

The '60s Changed Everything

Change really began to accelerate during the 1960s, for a number of reasons. The election of the first (and thus far only) Catholic president in John F. Kennedy, along with the modern reformation of the Catholic Church with the Second Vatican Council, precipitated shifts in religious alliances that have had profound effects on U.S. politics.

"Catholics, who used to be public enemy No. 1 for a lot of Americans, have been totally embraced, by the Republican Party especially," Preston says.

Civil rights laws began to break down barriers for black Americans, while the 1965 immigration law ended quota systems that had for decades heavily favored immigrants from Western Europe.

"All these immigrants started coming in from Latin America and Asia, many Catholic or not Christian," says David Hollinger, a historian at the University of California, Berkeley.

Help For Romney

These voting rights and demographic changes made the presidency of Barack Obama possible. Obama lost the white vote in 2008, but the share of votes cast by minorities had doubled over the course of just five election cycles, from 13 percent of the electorate in 1992 to 26 percent in 2008.

Some of these cultural shifts helped pave the way for the Romney candidacy as well. Protestants who once wouldn't have considered voting for anyone but one of their own have grown accustomed to candidates from other faiths. There have been seven Catholics on national tickets since Kennedy, including Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as one Jew and a Greek Orthodox candidate. President Obama is Protestant.

"Romney as a Mormon is part of a group that used to be thought of as the outside, but they've become assimilated in ways not unlike Catholics," Hollinger says.

Not So Post-Racial

It's different with Obama. The president doesn't have to be black for millions of people to hate him — Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both WASPs with WASP vice presidents, proved that.

But Obama's background — not just being the first African-American president, but having a Kenyan father and having spent part of his childhood abroad — makes him emblematic of changes that are altering the sense of what it means to be American.

In May, the Census Bureau reported that more minority children are being born in the U.S. now than whites.

"Some people say, 'Great,' others say, 'The country I've known is vanishing before my eyes,' " says Mark Smith, a political scientist at the University of Washington.

The anxiety that change always creates helps explain why there have been so many questions about whether Obama was actually born in America or might be a Muslim.

"He does seem kind of otherly, not just being black but having the international background," Smith says.

Straight Outta Cambridge

But in certain ways, Obama fits the standard profile of someone in power. There may not be as many WASPs holding positions of power, but there seem to be just as many Ivy League graduates running things as there ever were.

Obama got his law degree from Harvard — just like Romney.

"It did matter that Barack Obama was the product of Columbia and Harvard and did well at both institutions," says Charles, the Duke law professor. "That made him safe to a lot of people."

While none of the current Supreme Court justices are Protestants, every one of them holds at least one degree from Harvard or Yale. "We're all from the Ivy League," Justice Clarence Thomas said last week, when asked about the absence of Protestants on the court. "That seems to be more relevant than what faith we are."

Harvard students are no longer predominantly Protestant and no longer show up with their servants in tow — as many of them did as late as World War II. This fall, the freshman classes at both Harvard and Yale are made up of more than 40 percent nonwhite students.

"They find these guys like Obama who are clearly ready to go and take advantage of a place like Columbia or Harvard," says Hollinger, the Berkeley professor. "In earlier times, somebody like Obama couldn't get into Harvard and they wouldn't have had anything to do with him."

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