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 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.



Mon July 25, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama To Make Prime-Time Debt-Ceiling Speech To Nation

Originally published on Mon July 25, 2011 3:15 pm

In case you were wondering if and when President Obama would make a prime time speech from the White House to argue his case on the debt ceiling, wonder no more. The White House announced the president is scheduled to speak to the nation at 9 pm eastern time Monday from the East Room.

Earlier Monday, it was reported that the White House had cancelled two planned appearances by the president at campaign fundraisers because of the debt ceiling crisis. Now we know that the president had more in mind than working the phones.

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Mon July 25, 2011
It's All Politics

Debt-Ceiling Fight Comes Down Whether Or Not To Have Election Year Redo

Originally published on Mon July 25, 2011 11:58 am

Speaker John Boehner walks through the U.S. Capitol, July 25, 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Who wants a debt-ceiling fight during an election year?

Setting aside all the details, important as they are, about raising revenues and cutting spending, the crux of the fight is now clearly more than anything else about when to have the next debt-ceiling battle after the one now playing out before our eyes.

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Sat July 23, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama-Boehner Breakdown Leaves Many Questions, Fewer Answers

President Obama leaves the White House press briefing room after discussing the breakdown in debt-ceiling talks with Speaker John Boehner, July 22, 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Now that the one-on-one debt ceiling talks between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have broken down, there are obviously more questions than answers about what exactly happened and where matters go from here.

Let's go through just a few of them.

The meta question is obviously will the nation's leaders be able to achieve a deal to raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2, the date beyond which, the U.S. Treasury says, it won't be able to fend off a default?

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Fri July 22, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama, Boehner Debt Talks Cause Congress' Democrats To Hit Ceiling

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at a White House meeting, July 13, 2011.

The business day had barely begin Friday in the U.S. Capitol when Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, issued a caution to fellow Democrat President Obama and Republican Speaker John Boehner on their negotiations to reach a deal to raise the deficit ceiling.

Reid said:

We all know... there are talks going on between President Obama and Speaker Boehner. I wish them well. We await their efforts. I'm told there will be revenue measures in there. If that's the case, we know Constitutionally the matter must start in the House of Representatives.

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Thu July 21, 2011
It's All Politics

Partisan Debt-Ceiling Fight Makes Even Expediency Less So

Originally published on Thu July 21, 2011 9:17 am

President Obama and Congressional leaders at the White House, July 14, 2011.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

About the only thing certain right now in the debt-ceiling fight is that the yellow light has come on for negotiators who have pretty much run out of time to get a long-term deficit cutting deal done by the Aug. 2 deadline.

That's the date on which the U.S. Treasury says it will have exhausted all the financial tricks it has used since May to stave off a default by the federal government.

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