Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott joined NPR News in the spring of 2009 to launch a new blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Frank James.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and where it engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Memmott came to NPR from USA Today, where for over 20 years he worked as a reporter and editor on subjects ranging from politics and, foreign affairs to economics and the media.

In recent years he helped launch and then led three different news blogs at USATODAY.com, including the website's 2008 presidential campaign blog, On Politics.

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1:25pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Joe Simon, Co-Creator Of Captain America, Has Died

Joe Simon, who together with illustrator Jack Kirby created the iconic Captain America comic book hero in 1940, has died.

According to The Associated Press, "Simon's family relayed word of his death Thursday, posting a short statement on Facebook and telling The Associated Press through a spokesman that the 98-year-old Simon died Wednesday night in New York City after a brief illness."

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11:30am

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

A New Reason To Beat Your Own Chest: 'Drum Machine Shirt'

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 11:36 am

Think Geek

The Two-Way doesn't endorse products. But we do like to pass on things we see about weird and unusual things.

So a Los Angeles Times story about a "drum machine T-shirt" caught our eye. (Since there's a drummer or two in our lives, we may be biased.)

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10:25am

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Sheriff Arpaio Violates Latinos' Rights, Justice Department Says

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 10:29 am

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Ross D. Franklin AP

The U.S. Justice Department says Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has become a national figure thanks to his tough treatment of inmates and his tough talk on immigration, engages in "a pattern or practice of misconduct that violates the Constitution and federal law," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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9:40am

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Starting At Noon: Salvation Army Volunteers Go For Bell-Ringing Record

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:44 am

In Chicago: Antionette Levi rings her bell as she solicits donations for the Salvation Army.
Scott Olson Getty Images

They can't sit down. They can't eat. And they have to keep ringing their bells.

The Salvation Army says 24 of its volunteers will be going for a record starting at noon ET when they see just how long they can keep ringing their bells as they stand by collection kettles in cities across the nation.

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9:00am

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Politicians Take Note: 'Pragmatic' Was 2011's Word Of The Year

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:02 am

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama in July, during the negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling and reducing future federal deficits. Americans say they want pragmatic leaders who will worth together.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Americans put members of Congress at the very bottom of those they consider to be honest and ethical. They tell pollsters that they want politicians in Washington to "compromise in order to get things done."

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