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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It's All Politics
6:49 am
Wed July 24, 2013

As Obama Renews Economic Call, Partisan Stalemate Seems Certain

President Obama will take a swing at changing the dynamics in Washington's fiscal debates in a series of speeches about the economy. But his odds of striking out are high.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:15 am

In the lead-up to the start of President Obama's series of speeches laying out his view of how to strengthen the economy, some of the Washington-based challenges facing that very economy were on full display.

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It's All Politics
6:58 am
Sat June 8, 2013

United States Of Outrage: NSA, IRS Overreaches Spark Bipartisan Ire

President Obama speaks at Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., on Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:14 pm

Even in an era of stark political polarization, there are still some issues that can draw Americans together and scramble the normal ideological fault lines.

Recent revelations about the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency are among them.

Unlike the debates over Obamacare or President Obama himself, which tend to be more litmus tests for party affiliation than anything else, the reactions to reports about overreach by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency have brought normally warring partisans together.

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It's All Politics
5:33 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

10 Things We Learned From the IRS Inspector General Report

The John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, where many of the missteps by IRS workers who targeted conservative groups occurred.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:29 pm

Scintillating isn't how you'd describe the report issued by the Treasury inspector general's report on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

It was written, after all, by government bureaucrats for government bureaucrats. Enough said.

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Politics
6:26 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Obama Uses And Loses Political Capital On Gun Control

Mark Barden, the father of a young Newtown, Conn., shooting victim, speaks at a White House news conference on Wednesday, with President Obama and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obama denounced the Senate's defeat of a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers. "This was a pretty shameful day in Washington," he said.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:53 pm

The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.

Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. And in recent weeks, the president had campaigned for overall gun control legislation — especially the bipartisan background-check compromise — with a sense of urgency.

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It's All Politics
5:56 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Obama Riles His Own Party With Social Security Offer

President Obama prepares to depart San Francisco on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:11 pm

Few things indicate a president no longer needs to worry about re-election more than his willingness to ignite an intraparty firestorm.

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Pew Poll: For Many Who've Changed Same-Sex Marriage Views, It's Personal

Frank Capley (left) and Joe Alfano protest the San Francisco county clerk's denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Feb. 14.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:09 pm

Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio conservative Republican who recently said he now supports same-sex marriage because he has a gay son, evidently has plenty of company.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests that many Americans have changed their minds — going from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage — because they personally know someone who is gay.

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It's All Politics
8:16 am
Sat March 2, 2013

The Sequester That Wasn't Meant To Happen Begins

Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:33 pm

It was never supposed to happen, but now it has. With President Obama's signing of the order to commence the sequester spending cuts of $85 billion from this fiscal year's federal budget, what was once unthinkable is now hard reality.

The indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts to the Defense Department and domestic programs were supposed to be so odious and harebrained that, of course, the president and Congress would agree on a more reasonable path to deficit reduction.

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It's All Politics
6:27 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Hagel Becomes First Filibustered Defense Nominee

Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Jan. 31.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:01 pm

Updated on 2/14/2013 @ 5:20 pm

Thursday brought the latest twist in the saga of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be President Obama's second-term defense secretary.

Hagel's nomination came two Senate votes short of the required 60 that would have allowed it to proceed to a final vote. The vote, largely along party lines, was 58 to 40 with one senator voting present.

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It's All Politics
1:26 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

4 Things To Expect In Obama's State Of The Union Address

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address last year. On Tuesday night, he will be back at the Capitol for another address to a joint session of Congress.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:32 am

President Obama's second inaugural address was widely perceived as a throwing down of the gauntlet in how it framed his progressive faith in government and challenged his Republican political opponents in any number of ways.

Given that, expect to see more glove-throwing Tuesday as the president delivers the first State of the Union speech of his second term.

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It's All Politics
3:25 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Death By Drone, And The Sliding Scale Of Presidential Power

An unmanned drone armed with Hellfire missiles is shown over southern Afghanistan. A Hellfire missile fired from a drone was used in 2011 to kill an American in Yemen who the Obama administration says was an al-Qaida leader. Another American died in that attack, and a 16-year-old American was killed in a separate drone strike.
Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 2:00 pm

The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is generally to side with national security over civil liberties.

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