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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12:01pm

Tue July 26, 2011
It's All Politics

Vox Populi Strains Congress' Phone Lines, Websites

Originally published on Tue July 26, 2011 11:39 am

Americans are evidently responding to President Obama's request Monday evening that they contact their lawmakers.

Congress' phone lines and web sites were jammed Tuesday, becoming unavailable for many who tried to communicate with Capitol Hill.

Congress' call center sent the following email across Capitol Hill:

Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals. Outbound calls are unaffected.

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11:06am

Tue July 26, 2011
It's All Politics

Rep. David Wu Is Resigning; Was House's First Chinese-American Lawmaker

Rep. David Wu, the first Chinese-American to serve in the House, announced Tuesday that he will resign, ending what seemed to be headed toward becoming another embarrassing congressional sex scandal.

The Oregon Democrat faced a House ethics investigation after allegations surfaced that he had what is being widely described as an "unwanted sexual encounter" with a teenager. The young person was the daughter of Wu's childhood friend.

The Oregonian reported:

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3:59pm

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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10:49am

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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4:40am

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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