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

Romney Forced To Explain 'Victims' Comment

Sep 18, 2012
Originally published on September 18, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney says he's standing by the substance of his comments about American voters. A recording first revealed by Mother Jones magazine captured Romney at a fundraiser. He said 47 percent of Americans are hopelessly lost to President Obama, that they pay no income taxes, quote, "think they are victims, that they're entitled," and that he can't make them take responsibility or care for their lives.

Last night, Romney walked back some of the phrasing.

MITT ROMNEY: It's not elegantly stated. Let me put it that way. I'm speaking off-the-cuff in response to a question. And I'm sure I could state it more clearly in a more effective way, than I did in a setting like that.

INSKEEP: But having said that, Romney insisted he will stick with the message, as some conservatives, anyway, have urged them to do.

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson is on the line. Good morning, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What was Romney talking about?

LIASSON: Romney was talking about, as you said, a secretly taped video which was made on May 17 at a fundraiser in Boca Raton. We don't know who made the recording. But in it, Romney says there are 47 percent of Americans who are going to vote for the president no matter what.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

ROMNEY: There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. But that's - that's an entitlement and the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.

I mean the president starts off with the 48, 49, 40 - he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax.

LIASSON: Ouch. So there's nothing like speaking to a room of wealthy donors and describing half of America is shiftless moochers and parasites to reinforce the stereotype that the Obama campaign has been working so hard to create of Romney, that he's rich and out of touch and doesn't understand the lives of ordinary Americans.

This is a lot like what happened to President Obama in 2008, where he was surreptitiously filmed saying that certain working class voters cling to their God and guns. Only this one probably will have worse fallout.

INSKEEP: Well, Romney was being rather specific here with his 47 percent and he's standing by it. So let's try to figure it out. Who are the 47 percent?

LIASSON: Well, they're actually about 46 percent, according to a study. They don't pay income tax for a variety of reasons. Some of them are too poor to pay income tax. They're working poor, but they get tax credits. Some of them are elderly. Now, these people do pay plenty of tax. They pay payroll tax and sales tax and property taxes, but that's who he was talking about.

INSKEEP: Well, let's listen to a little bit more of what Romney had to say about them.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

ROMNEY: My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center.

LIASSON: This is a pretty stunning indictment - about half of the American people, that they'll never take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

INSKEEP: David Brooks of The New York Times has already written about this - a withering column. I just want to read a bit of it here. He says, quote, "The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees." And that the people who've benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle class workers, more so than that dependent poor.

Was Romney actually talking - when he talked about his 47 percent - was he actually talking about a big part of the Republican base?

LIASSON: Well, I think you're going to see a huge debate and a lot of discussion about what he was actually talking about. I think what he was referring to was what a lot of Republicans talk about when they talk about the people who pay no income tax. That's the tax that matters to conservatives. And it is a vision of people who get benefits from the government as opposed to the, quote, "job creators."

But he is standing by this basic argument, that he's offering an alternative to President Obama's, quote, "government-centered society."

INSKEEP: OK, you've already got political analysts saying, oh, the race is over now. But it is only September. Has this race shifted in any decisive way?

LIASSON: Well, the race had shifted in a small way before he made these comments. President Obama is solidifying his small but steady lead in the battleground states. And this comes at a really bad time for the Romney campaign. He's been facing stories about internal disarray in his campaign.

It makes it harder for the Romney campaign to control the message. They've been shifting strategies. They started out focusing exclusively on the economy. Then they flirted with the more ideological campaign when they picked Paul Ryan. Then it was foreign policy. Now they're trying to get him to talk more about his policies.

But this comes at a time when one Republican after another is calling their campaign either depressingly inept, as David Brooks put it - troubled campaign. Republicans are really wringing their hands about this.

INSKEEP: OK, thanks very much. That's NPR's Mara Liasson.

LIASSON: Thank you, Steve.

INSKEEP: And this morning, Mother Jones has released more tape of Romney at that fundraiser, this time discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He says, I'm torn. Romney says he sees no way to peace with the Palestinians: I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway. Romney speaks instead of kicking the ball down the field. He adds that a former secretary of state called him to say peace might be possible, but Romney added: I didn't delve into it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.