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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11:09am

Tue January 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Taxes May Be Legally Sound But They're Politically Dicey

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:30 pm

Mitt Romney greets audience members at the National Gypsum Co. in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

The income fairness debate has just gotten a lot more interesting. And it's taking place in anything but Mitt Romney's "quiet rooms."

Romney's release of his federal tax details for 2010 and 2011 came the morning that President Obama was preparing to deliver his State of the Union address, a speech in which he was expected to make the increasing gap between the superwealthy and everyone else a major topic of the evening.

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11:26pm

Mon January 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Attacks, Gingrich Doesn't As Both Give GOP Voters Reasons To Doubt

After Newt Gingrich's bravura performance in the final South Carolina debate and his drubbing of Mitt Romney on primary day, the former speaker's challenge in Monday night's debate in Tampa, Fla., was to maintain if not increase his momentum eight days before the Florida Republican presidential primary.

Meanwhile, Romney's challenge was to give his supporters who were shell-shocked by the Palmetto State results reasons to believe he had it in him to turn it around, to stand to do what needed to be done to beat Gingrich in Florida.

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4:43pm

Sun January 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Gabrielle Giffords' Resignation Message A Reminder Of Gains, Losses

Originally published on Sun January 22, 2012 5:06 pm

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, with her husband, Mark Kelly, leads the Pledge of Allegiance at a Jan. 8 service to remember the Tuscon shooting victims.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Gabrielle Giffords.

The name of the Democratic congresswoman from Arizona will forever be associated with one of the most tragic attacks on a member of Congress, the shootings in Tucson last year that killed six and left 13 wounded, including the congresswoman.

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2:28pm

Sun January 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney, Gingrich Appeals To GOP Right Raises General Election Hurdles

With Newt Gingrich beating Mitt Romney in South Carolina as soundly as the Johnny Rebels in 1861 thrashed the Billy Yanks at Bull Run (or the First Battle of Manassas, depending on your view), the Republican presidential nomination contest marches southward to Florida.

There in the Sunshine State, the campaign promises to be an even more hard- fought affair than in South Carolina, with both candidates battling for their party's conservative soul by out-righting each other.

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8:32am

Sat January 21, 2012
It's All Politics

South Carolina: Another Unpredictable Point In Campaign Full Of Them

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential campaign has been anything but predictable.

It's been the first contest in memory, for instance, with a candidate, Mitt Romney, who was reputedly the inevitable nominee but so suspect in many Republicans' eyes that they kept searching for an alternative. That has led to nearly every candidate in the crowded field, at one time or another, challenging for frontrunner status.

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11:40pm

Thu January 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Gingrich, Santorum Shine, Romney Doesn't At Last Debate Before S.C. Primary

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul participate in the GOP presidential candidate debate at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
David Goldman AP

The last Republican presidential debate before Saturday's South Carolina primary was expected to be lively. It didn't disappoint.

It was clear, even before the four remaining candidates met on the stage in Charleston, SC, that at least three of them would face some fairly high-stakes moments that could change the course of the contest. The question going into the debate was would they be able to master those moments?

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3:22pm

Thu January 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama's First 2012 TV Ad Defends Energy Record, Dings Koch Bros

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 4:00 pm

President Obama's campaign on Thursday released its first TV ad of the 2012 election cycle, and it's a defense of his record on energy.

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2:32pm

Thu January 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Last GOP Debate Before S.C. Primary Could Produce Political Fireworks

If there's ever been a presidential debate with as much news happening in the hours leading up to the event, it's hard to remember when.

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4:28pm

Wed January 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Keystone: Dead Pipeline Lives On As Election-Year Issue

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 4:47 pm

Now that President Obama has made his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, an obvious question is what will it mean for the 2012 presidential election?

Obviously, no one really knows the answer to that though that won't stop weeks if not months of speculation.

The key to Keystone is, which side will have the most success in framing its case to enough voters for it to make a difference?

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11:29am

Wed January 18, 2012
It's All Politics

McCain's 2008 Anti-Mitt Romney Oppo Research Raised 2012 Themes

A document that purportedly represents opposition research targeting Mitt Romney from Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign was posted online by Buzzfeed reporter Andy Kaczynski.

Immediately noticeable is how many of criticisms of Romney by his rivals during the current race for the Republican presidential nomination could just have easily come from McCain's opposition research of four years ago.

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8:33am

Wed January 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Internet Blackout Puts Washington Online Piracy In Limelight

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:06 am

Screenshot of Wikipedia landing page.
Wikipedia screenshot

SOPA and PIPA (no, they're not the Duchess of Cambridge's sisters) will be on the minds of a lot more people Wednesday because of the online protests by Wikipedia, Google and other popular websites over the anti-piracy legislation with the catchy acronyms currently under consideration in Congress.

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3:52pm

Tue January 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Wisconsin Democrats Exceed Million-Signature Mark For Walker Recall

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 4:48 pm

Jeremy Levinson, (l) a lawyer to the recall committees, talks about the petitions as Mike Tate (c) Wisconsin Democratic Party chair listens, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.
Andy Manis AP

How badly do Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's opponents want him out of office? So badly they collected significantly more signatures than they needed to ensure a recall election for the governor. A lot more.

We're talking more than a million signatures, according to Wisconsin Democrats who, in order to meet the Tuesday deadline, were hauling boxes of documents to the state office responsible for reviewing them.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

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2:00pm

Fri January 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Gingrich Asks SuperPAC To Correct Or Pull 'King Of Bain' Romney Movie, Ads

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:35 pm

Newt Gingrich at the opening of his Florida campaign headquarters in Orlando, Friday, Jan. 13, 2012.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Barely a day has gone by without Newt Gingrich complaining about the inaccuracy of ads run against him by a superPAC supporting Mitt Romney.

So now that an anti-Mitt Romney film purchased by a superPAC supporting Gingrich has been criticized for numerous inaccuracies, Gingrich has asked that the film's creators and the funders paying for ads using film snippets edit out the falsehoods or take the ads and film down entirely.

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9:40am

Fri January 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Government-Streamlining Offer Creates GOP Dilemma

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 11:54 am

President Obama proposal to streamline government will be challenging for the GOP to counter.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Maybe even if it weren't a general-election year, President Obama would still be proposing that Congress give him the power to merge federal agencies to make the government smaller and more efficient.

But the fact is it is the year in which the president is seeking re-election, a year in which both the eventual Republican presidential nominee and Obama's GOP opponents in Congress will assert hundreds of times before it's over that he is a big-government Democrat.

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7:09am

Fri January 13, 2012
It's All Politics

New Mitt Romney Ad Defends His Bain Capital Career

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:57 am

Mitt Romney's campaign has a new TV ad meant to counter attacks on his career at private-equity firm Bain Capital, using the same defense it has ever since his rivals for the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination started taking populist jabs at him.

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