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 http://www.npr.org/.

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!":

Pages

Post-Convention, Democrats Gain Momentum

Sep 9, 2012
Originally published on September 9, 2012 1:43 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: So, Mara, as we heard, President Obama and Mitt Romney are back on the road again, their conventions behind them. According to national polls, it looks like the Democrats got some momentum from their time in Charlotte.

LIASSON: Well, it does so far. President Obama looks like he's made gains in four separate national tracking polls. I think the big question now is how big will it be and, more importantly, whether it will last or not. We saw Mitt Romney make hardly any progress in the polls because of his convention, at least in terms of the horse race. But he did make some progress in his likability ratings, and he seems to have solidified his position a little bit better with Republican women.

WERTHEIMER: President Obama is campaigning in Florida. Mitt Romney is spending time in Virginia. Should we expect to see this race fought only in the swing states as we go forward?

LIASSON: I think it will be fought almost exclusively in the swing states. At this point, I think you can conveniently ignore the national horse race and just focus on the eight or 10 separate horse races in the swing states. That's where they're going. I think there are about eight to 10 states that will make a difference. That's why you see the president in Florida or Mitt Romney in Virginia. That's why both candidates have been spending time in Iowa and New Hampshire. Ohio is a really crucial state. Right now, you'd have to say that the president has a bit of an advantage in the battleground. If you look at how he runs against Mitt Romney in each of these eight to 10 states, he is a little bit ahead. He has more pathways to get to 270 electoral votes than Romney. Romney has more must-win states than President Obama. He really can't win without winning Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia, and that's a big chunk of the battleground.

WERTHEIMER: So, what about the latest jobs report? There was some suggestion that the jobs report from August was not so good and that would be a problem for the president, but the polls seem to be saying not so much.

LIASSON: Well, at least right now. I mean, that jobs report just wasn't good. It was below 100,000 jobs added. The unemployment rate dipped down. It dipped down because fewer people are looking for work. So, it's pretty bad news. And that is the real basis of the Romney campaign. Are you better off now than you were four years ago? And he can point to basic economics statistics to prove his point. And the president has to make a much more complicated argument. Things would have been worse without my policies or, conversely, the other guy would make it much worse.

WERTHEIMER: But President Obama does have some kind of built-in advantage, doesn't he, just by being the incumbent. He is the president.

LIASSON: There's no doubt about that. And if you were one of the two Americans that didn't know that the president had killed Osama bin Laden after watching the Democratic National Convention this week, you certainly know it now. I think that he had commander-in-chief credentials and accomplishments that he could tout in Charlotte, and he did. You also see the advantage that an incumbent has, just being able to go second, just being able to have his convention after the challenger. In Charlotte, the Democrats were able to methodically answer and to try to demolish every single attack that the Republicans had launched in Tampa.

WERTHEIMER: The next big event of the election season are the presidential debates. The first one is October 3rd.

LIASSON: Yes, and debates are the last remaining game-changers that we have in this race. Of course, they're external events that we can't anticipate that might happen. But the debates are absolutely crucial. This race is still essentially tied. And the only chance that either of them will have to really break out are the debates. I think that Romney has some advantages in these debates. He's debated recently, so he's not out practice. He dominated the debates in the Republican primary and he's been practicing a lot. He's taken many days off the campaign trail to get ready for these debates. President Obama hasn't debated anyone since John McCain in 2008. He's potentially rusty. And he also has a reputation for procrastinating a bit on debate prep. I think the Romney campaign in particular sees these debates as a chance for Romney to break out, much in the same way that Ronald Reagan did in 1980 in that one and only debate. Ronald Reagan convinced people that he was an acceptable alternative, there's nothing scary about him, and he convinced an electorate that was already ready to fire President Carter but wasn't sure about the challenger. And that's the model that the Romney campaign is looking at this year.

WERTHEIMER: Mara Liasson is NPR's national political correspondent. Mara, thanks.

LIASSON: Thank you, Linda.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: And you can get the latest presidential election news by checking on our website, npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: You're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.