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!":


Paul Ryan Boosts Romney's Conservative Credentials, But Also Mobilizes Opponents

Aug 11, 2012
Originally published on August 11, 2012 3:09 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discarded his increasingly inert better-safe-than-sorry campaign strategy Saturday when he named budget hawk and Democratic bete noire Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.

The decision to go with Ryan, 42, the conservative architect of recent GOP budget proposals that would slash federal spending and remake entitlement programs like Medicare (though not cut the deficit for decades) delighted conservatives who had begun loudly and publicly grousing about the trajectory of Romney's campaign, and who had long been suspect of Romney's conservative bona fides.

It also brought aboard a young, culturally conservative Catholic from a battleground state that for the past two years has been ground zero in the war over the size of government, the role of public unions and the future of entitlement programs.

"Ryan is a good choice and a clear attempt to add some policy heft to the Romney ticket," Matt Kibbe, president of the national Tea Party organization FreedomWorks, told NPR. "It will force both candidates to have a more serious debate about the right path to economic recovery."

How the choice of Ryan, the seven-term Wisconsin congressman whose budget proposals have become manifestos of the small-government movement, may affect Romney's fortunes in key swing states like Colorado, Ohio and Virginia is less clear.

But the pick has handed Democrats a trove of material mined from Ryan's budget-cutting proposals, including a scenario to convert Medicare into a block grant program that they already are leveraging in an effort to weaken the GOP ticket's appeal among independent voters, women and senior citizens, including in must-win states like Florida.

Here's a sample of the fight to come, now that Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is on the ticket: "If there were ever any doubt that Mitt Romney is not on the side of working people, today's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate makes it crystal clear," Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, said in a statement.

Ryan's "no-holds barred record of attacking seniors, children, and working men and women is frightening for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich," Henry says.

Jim Messina, Obama for America campaign manager, characterized Ryan as "the architect of the radical House budget" who supports "new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy."

The battle, however, is one that conservatives like longtime strategist Ed Rogers say they are ready for.

The Ryan pick, he says, suggests that "Romney will fight from a conservative point of view. It means Romney gets it."

"America is in trouble," Rogers says. "We must be honest."

Reeling from a summer of sliding approval ratings and an expensive and ugly advertising war with President Obama, Romney bypassed potential, and far less controversial, running mates in former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, touted for his "regular guy" appeal, and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, viewed as Oval Office ready and with potential to help the ticket in a key Buckeye State county.

Though his pick was hailed by some Tea Party movement leaders, Ryan embodies a number of qualities the movement does not embrace: He's spent his entire career in or around Congress, he voted for the auto maker loans, and for the Wall Street bailout.

The effect of vice presidential candidates on the fortunes of the top-of-the-ticket nominee most often proves negligible. But the addition of Ryan to the mix focuses the campaign on the future of Medicare and Social Security (Ryan has favored its privatization), as well as his views on women's health issues and the size of government.

Romney, while exciting his base with Ryan, faces the twin prospect of losing ground with important constituencies in swing states — constituencies, in particular women, he's already been struggling to corral.

An Obama ad campaign on the air in swing states, including Iowa, has already been hitting Romney for being out of touch with women. Abortion rights advocates, like Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice America, have begun defining Ryan's congressional record on abortion as "extreme."

"He has cast 59 votes on reproductive rights while in Congress and not one has been pro-choice," Keenan said, adding that he has supported efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Romney, in picking a young and controversial star of the conservative right, has gambled that Republicans who may have been inclined to stay home in November will now vote — and vote in numbers that will more than offset the votes he may lose by picking a young and controversial star of the conservative right.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit