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!":


Lights, Camera, Action (zzzz), Tweet!

Oct 4, 2012
Originally published on October 4, 2012 12:47 pm

I have spent the past few days sequestered with a crack team of political pros — actually, curled into a fetal ball, clutching a fading 1980 John Anderson poster — to gird myself for the vital first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

So many questions lingered:

Would Romney offer to wager Obama $10,000 on who wins the race?

Would Obama tell Romney, "You're taxable enough, Mitt"?

Would the two men reveal the secret handshake taught only to graduates of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School? (Didn't remember Romney had the J.D. as well as the MBA, did you?) Would they be able to toss zingers with tight spirals in the thin air of Denver?

Would the competing journalistic fact checking units break into open warfare before the end of the actual debate?

Some surprises:

1. Obama became the first incumbent president to use the word "sweetie" in the response to the first question posed at an actual presidential debate at which the moderator was not a child of 4. (Directed at his wife of exactly 20 years, undoubtedly in part to compensate for ruining any actual anniversary date, and undoubtedly in part to pander to married women across the country, among whom he has a lead in the latest Pew poll.)

2. Romney apparently believes the word "question" is a synonym for the word "rebuttal."

PBS's Jim Lehrer: "But first, Gov. Romney, do you have a question that you'd like to ask the president directly about something he just said?"

Romney: "Well, sure. I'd like to clear up the record and go through it piece by piece. First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut."

My punctuation may fail me, but that doesn't sound like there was a question mark in there.

3. This was the "prevent defense" debate. Neither man made a glaring mistake, but neither could have stirred much of a pulse even in a Red Bull addict. Obama seemed particularly flat. Was he aware they were actually on TV? And, as a result, Romney's fans will be galvanized by this relatively sedate debate, because he did perfectly fine.

4. Romney announced he would cut Obamacare and Big Bird — along with declaring, "I love Big Bird."

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto called fowl:

No word on the governor's stance on Cookie Monster.

5. It would seem the president has killed that whole "mesmerizing celebrity meme" that so haunted him during the campaign of 2008. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg:

6. The stakes were high, the lights hot. Early on, Romney was visibly perspiring. Not a Nixon-like precipitation, but a well-planned ploy to prove that he's not Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. That, or the programmers made adjustments to the operating system.

7. Obama was shamelessly willing to get in the gutter and match his opponent, one droning, statistic-laden-argument-over-arcane-policy-distinction after another.

8. The NFL should have hired Romney as a replacement referee — the man wanted to moderate his own debate, repeatedly talking over the genial Lehrer: "I think I get the last word."

9. Lehrer had a tough time holding onto the conductor's baton:

Those who do get the last word — OK, the next-to-last-word before the voters — debated among themselves how to go through this ritual once more. I'm talking the journalists, analysts, pundits and prognosticators.

New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen mocked the professional flock for just showing up to Denver.

Purity! Stay out of the spin room! Hear the people online! All the major news outlets built up their online presences based in large part on social platforms. ABC's joint site with Yahoo (going full tilt in the absence of any TV presence before the 9 pm ET start ) — sorted through the tweet-per-minute ratios; CNN tweeters tracked how well independent voters with little instant opinion knobs liked the two candidates. Social media is the future of the media!

"I think with Twitter, and the way information now moves, the sense of how the debate is being played out occurs in almost real time," Romney spokesman Brian Jones told The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone. "In years past, you may have had to wait until the debate concluded."

Except for the objection raised by CBS political director and Slate columnist John Dickerson:

So wait — the empowering, democratizing, level playing field of social media is also spintastic?

What to do?

National Journal reporter Jim Tankersley announced an hour before the debate, he had a solution at hand:

In other words, the one place you don't want to talk politics is Twitter. A fact that he was most directly able to communicate to 3,047 followers via the direct information IV drip that rhymes with "litter."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit