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.

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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!":


Ryan Role In Thompson Win Debated

Aug 15, 2012
Originally published on August 15, 2012 4:47 pm

The question of whether GOP vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will ultimately help or hurt Mitt Romney's quest for the White House is the subject of fierce debate.

But some politicos are calling Ryan a kingmaker following former longtime Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson's slim victory Tuesday in the hotly contested, four-way Republican U.S Senate primary.

Why? Ryan gave Thompson a shout-out at a Badger State homecoming rally Sunday, and the former governor quickly incorporated the veep pick's endorsement-of-sorts into a campaign ad.

Those who deal in empirical evidence, however, are not so easily convinced that Thompson rode Ryan's words to the win.

"I'm skeptical," Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School poll, told us Wednesday. "In our final poll, we showed Thompson at 33 percent nine days out from the election. He received 34 percent." The Marquette poll also accurately predicted the order of finish.

About other polls that had Thompson trailing, Franklin said this: "Do you really believe there was a last-second dynamic, and that the [Ryan] shout-out moved Thompson's number by several percentage points?"

Good question.

So, whether Thompson, 70, managed to either hang on to a lead, or surge to the win Tuesday night, he now faces a well-financed and well-known opponent in Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, 50, in a race that will help determine the balance of power in the Senate.

Recent polls that tested a head-to-head matchup between the two candidates looking to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl have given Thompson a slight edge. But it's less, Franklin says, than one might expect, "given his history as the most popular governor in state history."

Marquette will have new poll results out next Wednesday, he says, that will measure not only the Thompson-Baldwin race but also where the presidential race stands in Wisconsin after Romney's pick of native son Ryan.

Lines Of Attack

In a statement released after Thompson's victory, Baldwin made clear she plans to use the former governor's recent-year lobbying career against him.

Said Baldwin:

"Tonight, the Republican primary electorate presented Wisconsin voters with a clear choice for the November election. Make no mistake, Tommy Thompson will stand with those who already have too much power and influence in Washington."

"I will fight to do what's right for the middle class and Thompson will put those at the very top and the big monied special interests in Washington ahead of Wisconsin's hard-working families. I will take on these powerful interests in Washington, and in the Senate, I will stand up for Wisconsin's middle class, as I always have."

After a career in the Wisconsin state Assembly, Thompson served 14 years as governor before becoming health and human services secretary in President George W. Bush's administration.

He launched a failed bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination and has since had what PolitiFact characterized as a "lucrative private-sector affiliation with dozens of health and other companies," including those he oversaw as a member of the Bush administration.

Republicans are focusing on Baldwin's well-established liberal record and her support of Obama administration initiatives including the stimulus and the health care overhaul., one of the state's go-to political sites, reported Wednesday that Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS has already begun a one-week, $250,000 ad campaign targeting Baldwin. The site's Election Blog reports on the ad:

"The narrator says Baldwin voted for the 'failed' $1 trillion stimulus package, which included projects like $800,000 to replace light bulbs, and the national debt has increased more than $10 trillion since she went to Congress."

"'Tell Tammy trillions wasted is too much. Stop the wasteful spending and cut the debt,' the narrator says before encouraging viewers to support the 'New Majority Agenda.' "

Money Race

Franklin, of Marquette, says that Baldwin, who did not have a primary opponent, has raised nearly three times as much money as Thompson.

On Wednesday, former Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold and his political action committee, Progressives United, launched what it calls a "Cheddarbomb" to add to her coffers.

The Center for Responsive Politics reports that Baldwin this cycle has raised $7.1 million and has $3.1 million cash on hand. Thompson has raised $2.4 million and has $352,915 cash on hand.

Thompson has some work to do, but though there are fractures in the Republican Party, Franklin says, "it will surely unite behind him against Baldwin."

"There is still residual good feeling from his time as governor, and that's an asset," he says, "though we don't want to overstate it."

Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democrats, indicates his party will make sure that it's not overstated.

"It's been a long time since Tommy Thompson has been in Wisconsin," Tate said Wednesday. "He sold out, left Wisconsin and is too out of touch to fight for Wisconsin."

For a state that has been at the epicenter of politics and political battles over the past two years, yet another has now been joined.

Other GOP Primary Races

The biggest primary shock Tuesday came out of Florida, where long-serving GOP incumbent Rep. Cliff Stearns was upended by veterinarian Ted Yoho, who rode Tea Party support to victory. The stunned Stearns, known for his pursuit of the Obama administration's investment in the failed solar energy company Solyndra and for advocating the defunding of Planned Parenthood, conceded Wednesday.

Also in Florida, in a battle of two GOP incumbents, Rep. John Mica, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, easily defeated Rep. Sandy Adams, who had Tea Party support.

In Connecticut, pro-wrestling mogul Linda McMahon succeeded in her effort for a second shot at a seat in the U.S. Senate. The Republican McMahon obliterated former GOP Rep. Christopher Shays, winning her party's nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by independent Sen. Joe Lieberman.

In 2010, McMahon used $50.1 million of her own money in a losing Senate race against Democrat Richard Blumenthal. This cycle, she has raised $14 million, which includes just $7 million of her own money. So far.

This fall she'll face three-term U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, who coasted to victory in his Democratic primary.

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