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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6:18pm

Tue April 22, 2014
It's All Politics

Green GOP Group Caught Between 'Rock And A Hard Place'

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:11 pm

Volunteer Tom Strain carries debris from an empty lot as part of an Earth Day cleanup effort in Camden, N.J. The Earth Day events celebrated on April 22 promote a sustainable and clean environment.
Mel Evans AP

On Earth Day 2014, it wasn't easy being green in the Republican Party. Just ask Rob Sisson, president of ConservAmerica.

ConservAmerica is a membership organization created in 1995 to keep the environmental spirit of GOP President Theodore Roosevelt alive in his party. Back then, the group was known as Republicans for Environmental Protection.

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6:31pm

Fri April 18, 2014
It's All Politics

Are Democrats Trying To Energize The Base With The Race Card?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:46 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder (right) recently expressed outrage at the treatment President Obama and he have received from conservatives. He stopped just short of saying it was race-related, leaving that for the African-American audience at the recent National Action Network convention to decide.
Seth Wenig AP

Few mixtures in American life are more emotionally combustible than the one formed by the combination of politics and race.

That helps explain why Democrats, in general, and President Obama, in particular, have tended to steer clear of overtly raising race as an issue to explain some of the opposition to Obama's presidency and agenda.

There seems to be a shift in recent days, however.

Top Democratic party officials have either directly or indirectly blamed race for some of the hostility to Obama, his policies, or both.

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3:50pm

Thu April 17, 2014
It's All Politics

Hillary Clinton's Presidential Chess Board

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:32 pm

Hillary Clinton's decision on whether to run for president in 2016 will ripple across the presidential candidate fields in both parties.
Ben Margot AP

If the jockeying before the 2016 presidential race is a game of political chess, the most powerful queen on the board would obviously be Hillary Clinton.

So much of what will happen in 2016 hinges on Clinton's decision on whether to run, which she has said she'll announce by the end of this year.

If the former secretary of state and New York senator enters the race, she reduces the space on the board for any competitors within her own party. That would be particularly true for the Democratic women mentioned as possibilities for national office.

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5:19pm

Mon April 14, 2014
It's All Politics

John Boehner Foe Targets 'Electile' Dysfunction

An erectile dysfunction ad isn't the kind of thing most politicians would typically gravitate toward.

OK, there was former Sen. Bob Dole pitching Viagra years ago. But he was already out of office when he became a spokesman for the virility drug.

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7:00pm

Fri April 11, 2014
It's All Politics

If Aide-Kissing Congressman Doesn't Quit, Voters Will Decide Fate

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:47 pm

Louisiana Republican Rep. Vance McAllister with his wife, Kelly, as he's sworn in by Speaker John Boehner.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

As of this writing, Rep. Vance McAllister is still a Republican congressman representing his northeastern Louisiana district.

And that's part of the problem, according to the Louisiana Republican Party establishment. Gov. Bobby Jindal and state party chairman Roger Villere both recommended publicly and strongly that McAllister immediately resign in the wake of widely seen security video showing the married congressman canoodling a married now-ex-staffer.

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5:46pm

Fri April 11, 2014
It's All Politics

5 Takeaways From The Equal Pay Debate

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:44 pm

President Obama, pictured here with Lilly Ledbetter, and congressional Democrats are working the equal pay issue hard in a midterm election year when they will need as many women to vote as possible.
Carolyn Kaster AP

This was the week that included Equal Pay Day, the point on the 2014 calendar to which the average female worker must work to match the average man's 2013 pay.

To mark the occasion, President Obama held a White House event Tuesday to sign executive orders aimed at providing more transparency about what federal contractors pay their workers. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats held a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which failed in a vote that largely fell along partisan lines — the third time that's happened.

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7:38pm

Thu April 10, 2014
It's All Politics

Obama And Al Sharpton: An Odd Couple Who Make Political Sense

President Obama and the Rev. Al Sharpton together at the 2011 National Action Network conference.
Frank Franklin II AP

President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton might at first seem like one of the odder couples in U.S. politics.

The president is by nature a super-cautious politician, measured in his rhetoric. He has generally stayed away from overt discussions of race for much of his presidency, though he has spoken more openly and emotionally about issues of race during his second term.

Sharpton, on the other hand, built a career as an incendiary racial avenger who for decades was drawn to interracial controversies as if they had some irresistible gravitational force.

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3:56pm

Tue April 8, 2014
It's All Politics

Holder Plays Asparagus Card Against GOP Antagonist

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:18 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder played the asparagus card against one of his House Republican tormenters.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Revenge and asparagus are apparently dishes best served cold — at least when served by Attorney General Eric Holder.

After a testy exchange Tuesday with Rep. Louis Gohmert, a Texas Republican who had clearly gotten on his last nerve, Holder delivered a dose of ridicule.

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3:26pm

Tue April 8, 2014
It's All Politics

The Politics Of Equal Pay: It's More Than A Women's Issue

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:18 pm

A crowd lines up in Atlanta for a recent women's forum on pay equity and other issues featuring Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
David Tulis AP

The pay equity issue, which President Obama and Democrats are making a central theme of the 2014 midterm election campaign, is often framed as a women's issue. But Democrats are expecting it will also have crossover appeal to men.

For many men, it's a matter of self-interest: Two-income families are part of a long-term trend, as many families find two paychecks essential to cover the bills in an era of rising prices and stagnant, if not falling, wages.

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5:34pm

Fri April 4, 2014
It's All Politics

You Could Be A 'New Republican' If You Agree With This Ad

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:39 pm

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is part of an effort to redefine the Republican Party.
Wilfredo Lee AP

A new video ad you can see online (or this Sunday on the Fox News Channel) features Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush describing what constitutes a "New Republican."

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