Frank James

Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

James came to NPR from the Chicago Tribune, where he worked for 20 years. In 2006, James created "The Swamp," the paper's successful politics and policy news blog whose readership climbed to a peak of 3 million page-views a month.

Before that, James covered homeland security, technology and privacy and economics in the Tribune's Washington Bureau. He also reported for the Tribune from South Africa and covered politics and higher education.

James also reported for The Wall Street Journal for nearly 10 years.

James received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Dickinson College and now serves on its board of trustees.

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7:42pm

Wed July 24, 2013
It's All Politics

King Wing Presents Both A Problem And An Opportunity For GOP

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:37 pm

Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, is taking heat for comparing many young immigrant DREAMers to drug mules.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Both for the Republican Party, in general, and the GOP House leadership, in particular, Rep. Steve King's controversial comments about young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally are a setback, to put it mildly.

King, as anyone knows who hasn't been single-mindedly focused in recent days on the birth of Prince George Alexander, caused a sizable ruckus with comments that are being called "hateful," "inexcusable" and "reprehensible" — even by some of his fellow House Republicans.

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7:40pm

Mon July 22, 2013
It's All Politics

McConnell's Challenge: Deal-Making Without Fingerprints

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:14 pm

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader, may have previewed his below-the-radar approach to future negotiations with Democrats during the recent filibuster fight.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

It appears that it's just a matter of days before it becomes official that Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate's top Republican, will be forced into a primary by a Louisville businessman with Tea Party backing.

The news that Matthew Bevin, owner of a bell-manufacturing company and an investment company executive, intends to soon announce his effort to oust McConnell is interesting because it appears to place McConnell in something of a bind.

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6:42pm

Fri July 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Explains Black America To White America

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:08 pm

President Obama tackled race head-on in his first on-camera response to George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Carolyn Kaster AP

The days are few and far between when President Obama has intentionally reminded us that he is the first African-American president.

Friday was one.

The president did something no other holder of his office has ever had the life experience to do: He used the bully pulpit to, as an African-American, explain black America to white America in the wake of last week's acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

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11:38am

Fri July 19, 2013
It's All Politics

'Worst Governors' List Has Suspicious Deep Red Tinge

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:16 pm

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (left) and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, both Republicans, made a watchdog group's list of bad governors that has a very disproportionate GOP skew.
Ronda Churchill AP

Of the 50 state governors in the U.S., 30 are Republicans and 20 are Democrats, a ratio of 3 to 2.

So when Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group, issued a report this week listing 18 governors it alleged are the "worst in America," it immediately raised eyebrows and partisan ire for the notable party tilt of its examples — only two were Democrats.

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5:23pm

Wed July 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Could Declare An Immigration Amnesty, But ...

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:07 pm

President Obama has enough problems with Congress without waving the red cape of a presidential amnesty to immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Univision screen shot

In an interview this week, Univision's Adriana Vargas asked President Obama if, in the event Congress failed to pass immigration legislation, he could simply use his presidential power to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million people currently in the U.S. illegally.

The president didn't exactly shut the door on that possibility, though he did strongly suggest it was a portal he'd rather not go through.

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3:56pm

Tue July 16, 2013
It's All Politics

3 Reasons The Senate Didn't Go Nuclear

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:55 pm

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was credited by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with playing a crucial role in the filibuster pact.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

With Tuesday's bipartisan agreement to let senators vote on seven of President Obama's previously stalled nominations, the Senate proved that the art of compromise isn't dead in Washington, even if it might be severely wounded.

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6:13pm

Mon July 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Reid's Limited Senate Options Lead To 'Nuclear' Threat

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 7:23 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warns that if Republicans don't relent on filibusters, they will leave him no choice but to change the chamber's rules.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Sen. Harry Reid may sound a tad hypocritical to some for saying he now supports changing Senate rules in order to end the one that says 60 senators must approve before presidential nominations can get up or down votes. This comes only several years after he indicated he opposed changing the requirement to a simple 51-vote majority.

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6:21pm

Wed July 3, 2013
It's All Politics

Partial Delay In Health Law Challenges Obama More Than Foes

The Affordable Care Act's foes have long had a simpler message than its supporters. The postponement of the law's employer mandate continues that trend.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

It's too soon, obviously, to know how the Obama administration's decision to delay by a year the imposition of penalties on large employers that fail to provide health insurance to their workers will ultimately play out, politically.

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7:47pm

Mon July 1, 2013
It's All Politics

Texas Abortion Fight Follows Familiar Pattern

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis at an abortion-rights rally in Austin on Monday.
Eric Gay AP

For many watching the abortion fight in Texas, it's deja vu all over again.

Abortion-rights protesters once again gathered Monday at the state capitol building to express their outrage at the Legislature's attempt to further restrict abortions in the state. The images from Austin looked a lot like the previous week's when state Sen. Wendy Davis famously filibustered to stop the legislation from passing.

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6:49pm

Fri June 28, 2013
It's All Politics

Gun Group Aims To Stop Immigration Bill

Some gun-rights advocates see a threat to the Second Amendment in Congress' immigration overhaul plans.
Brennan Linsley AP

What does an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws have to do with the Second Amendment right to own guns?

If you're the Gun Owners of America, everything.

The GOA, a smaller cousin of the National Rifle Association that often takes an even more aggressive approach, is branding the just-passed Senate immigration bill, with its path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, as an "anti-gun amnesty."

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