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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2:38pm

Thu March 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Democrats Embrace 'ObamaCare' To Defang Word's Bite

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 6:50 pm

Supporters of the health care law have recently embraced the term "Obamacare," a word they once recoiled from.
Charles Dharapak AP

A funny thing happened on the way to the Supreme Court and during the three days the court heard oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Democrats embraced the "Obamacare" name the law's foes had used as an epithet for two years to deride the law.

In the political equivalent of what happens in battle when the enemy's captured artillery piece is turned around and the opponent's own shells are fired back at them, Democrats decided to take ownership of a word they once seemed to avoid at all costs.

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12:07pm

Thu March 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Seeks Some Of Reagan's Jelly Belly Magic

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 11:32 am

A portrait of President Ronald Reagan made from jelly beans at the Jelly Belly Co. visitor center, in Fairfield, Calif., in June 2004. The photo was taken shortly after his death.
STEVE YEATER AP

For some people, few things say "Ronald Reagan" like Jelly Belly candy, apparently. Which explains why Rick Santorum will be holding a rally at the California headquarters of the candy maker Thursday.

Santorum is scheduled to attend a "Rally for Rick" event at the Jelly Belly Candy Co. facility in Fairfield, Calif.

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6:09pm

Wed March 28, 2012
It's All Politics

White House Aide To Skeptical Journalists: No Contingency Plan On Health Law

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 6:20 pm

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest in February 2012.
Susan Walsh AP

No matter how many times he said it Wednesday, the White House press corps just didn't seem to be buying deputy press secretary Josh Earnest's assertion that Obama administration officials weren't working on contingency plans just in case the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act.

They also weren't taking at face value Earnest's defense of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's performance on behalf of the administration Tuesday which has been widely criticized as nervous, halting and all-around less-than-inspiring.

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4:48pm

Wed March 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Rep. Bobby Rush's Hoodie Moment Recalls His Own Family Tragedy

Rep. Bobby Rush who, like Trayvon Martin's parents, lost a son to gun violence.
Anonymous AP

3:02pm

Wed March 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Sign Of The (Wisconsin) Times: Gov. Scott Walker For President

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's future is a bigger deal to many in his state than Tuesday's presidential primary.
Don Gonyea NPR

There's a Republican presidential primary next Tuesday in Wisconsin. But as the accompanying photo taken by NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea in Delafield, Wisc. suggests, a lot of Wisconsinites have other political matters on their minds.

As Don writes in an e-mail:

"Note that the recall coming up on June is the big political story here. Not Tuesdays presidential primary."

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5:59pm

Tue March 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Ex-Clinton Solicitor General, Colorado AG React To SCOTUS Arguments

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:12 pm

It was a question that seemed to be one of the most difficult for the current solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., to answer persuasively, at least to the obvious satisfaction of the conservative justices: If the individual mandate for the purchase of health insurance was found constitutional, what would limit Congress from passing other laws requiring people to buy products from broccoli to cellphones?

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4:15pm

Tue March 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Mitt Romney Rival Digs Up Details On GOP Front-Runner's New Man Cave

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:21 pm

Mitt Romney at his beach house in La Jolla, Calif., in 2008.
Denis Poroy AP

Presumably, most people who've been paying attention know by now that Mitt Romney is very, very rich.

But to say that he possesses a fortune estimated at up to $250 million can be too abstract for most people. From an opposing campaign's point of view, better to provide voters with a concrete example of how Romney differs from most people.

And it's hard to find a more concrete example, literally and figuratively, than a supersized basement.

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1:27pm

Tue March 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Boehner Eschews (For Now) GOP's Pile On Of Obama For Open-Mic Comment

For Speaker John Boehner, politics still stops at the water's edge. He refused to criticize President Obama's open-mic comment on missile defense, at least while the president was out of the country.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Listen to any foreign-policy hand who's been in Washington long enough and you'll hear nostalgia for a time when politics stopped at the water's edge.

It was the idea that in the foreign-policy realm, it was best if Democrats and Republicans spoke as one.

At the very least, when an American president traveled abroad, the notion was his political opponents back home should desist from criticizing him was the thinking.

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8:27am

Tue March 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Tuesday Political Grab Bag: Supreme Court Gets To Nub Of Healthcare Issue

Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act entered their second day Tuesday, with the justices moving from the technicalities of the first day to exploring the legal issues at the heart of whether the law is constitutional or not.

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5:30pm

Mon March 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Would Consider VP Offer From Romney, Man He Daily Derides

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:26 am

If on winning the Republican presidential nomination Mitt Romney needs a vice presidential running mate with the proven ability to use a New York Times correspondent as a rhetorical punching bag, Rick Santorum could be available.

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3:09pm

Mon March 26, 2012
It's All Politics

GOP Seizes On Obama Open-Mic Comment To Russian Leader

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:26 am

President Obama unwittingly made some not-so-private comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea security summit.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

When your political opponent hands you a gift, take it.

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9:43am

Mon March 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Monday Political Grab Bag: Supreme Court Takes Health Care Law's Pulse...

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 9:45 am

Three days of historic Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act started Monday in a case that could decide the fate of the controversial health-care law. A new CBS News/New York Times poll found that 47 percent of respondents opposed the law while 36 percent approved it.

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10:48am

Sat March 24, 2012
It's All Politics

4 Things To Watch For In Louisiana

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 4:09 pm

Rick Santorum takes the phone to speak to a supporter's husband, who couldn't attend a Shreveport, La., rally, on Friday.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Saturday should be another good day for Rick Santorum, as his strength has been in Southern states. Polls in Louisiana, which is holding its primary, also gave him a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney coming into the weekend.

The Sportsman's Paradise has 46 Republican delegates to send to the party's presidential-nominating convention. But the very helpful Frontloading HQ blog informs us that only 20 of 25 at-large delegates will be doled out based on Saturday's results.

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6:24pm

Fri March 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum's 'Obamaville' Ad Warns Of 2nd-Term Horror

Santorum ad screen capture

4:08pm

Fri March 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Trayvon Martin Tragedy Edges Onto Presidential Campaign Trail

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 5:44 pm

President Obama heading to the White House Rose Garden, on Friday, March 23, 2012, where he made his first public comments about the Trayvon Martin.
Charles Dharapak AP

Pressure had been building on President Obama for days to say something about the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, and on Friday the president finally did.

And almost as soon as he did, some people suspected him of a cynical election-year attempt to appeal to black voters, judging by the reaction by some on social media and conservative sites. Martin was African American, his killer of mixed white and Hispanic parentage.

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