The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Freddie Mac's Conflict Is 'Unsavory,' 'Shocking,' 'Stunning,' Key Senators Say

Two senators who have taken the lead on legislation aimed to help homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates were blunt this morning about how concerned they are by the news NPR reported earlier this week that Freddie Mac "has placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

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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.

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

Scott Neuman works as a Digital News writer and editor, handling breaking news and feature stories for NPR.org. Occasionally he can be heard on-air reporting on stories for Newscasts and has done several radio features since he joined NPR in April 2007, as an editor on the Continuous News Desk.

Neuman brings to NPR years of experience as an editor and reporter at a variety of news organizations and based all over the world. For three years in Bangkok, Thailand, he served as an Associated Press Asia-Pacific desk editor. From 2000-2004, Neuman worked as a Hong Kong-based Asia editor and correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. He spent the previous two years as the international desk editor at the AP, while living in New York.

The Salt
11:20 am
Wed February 1, 2012

What Heals The World? Soup, Made By Moms

Haechangkuk, a Korean homestyle soup made with beef broth and bean sprouts, is a favorite hangover cure.
John Rose NPR

Last month I fell ill with a wretched cough. The doctor said I would get better with time, but I craved food that would sustain me on my slow plod back to health. My mom was 3,000 miles away, unable to feed me the chicken soup and Saltines of my youth.

But I found a good substitute: The kimchi soup at a restaurant just around the corner from NPR. Even though this soup has a fiery kick unheard of in the Midwestern fare of my childhood, it was simple, bracing and comforting: just the thing to heal the sick.

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It's All Politics
10:54 am
Wed February 1, 2012

In Vegas, Political Race Is Just Another Sport To The Oddsmakers

Mitt Romney arrives in Nevada on Wednesday with more than the favor of Florida voters — the oddsmakers in Vegas like his chances, too. The online sports book Bovada has him as the favorite to win the GOP nomination at 1-15.

That means if you bet $15 on a Romney nomination, you'd only get $1 back if it happened. Before the Florida primary, Romney was at 1-9. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, slipped from 6-1 odds Monday; he now stands at 9-1.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Indiana Governor Poised To Sign 'Right To Work' Bill

Union members protesting the right-to-work legislation wait to enter the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Michael Conroy AP

Update at 3:09 p.m. ET. With a signature, Gov. Mitch Daniels has turned Indianapolis into a right to work state. The governor signed into a law a controversial bill that would prohibit labor contracts from requiring workers to pay union dues, according to the AP.

Our Original Post Continues:

The controversial "right to work" bill was approved by the state Senate today with a 28 to 22 vote. Once Daniels signs the bill into law, which he is expected to do later today, Indiana will be the first state in a decade to pass a right to work law.

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Around the Nation
10:46 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Occupying The Nation's Attention, If Not Its Cities

A protester at the Occupy D.C. encampment in Freedom Plaza packed up his belongings Monday ahead of a National Park Service deadline to clear out.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Most of the tents are gone, the parks are empty and nearly 99 percent of Occupy Wall Street's 99 percenters have gone home.

But even as the occupation enters a denouement, the nationwide movement sparked in September can claim a huge victory in the battle of ideas. Occupy has spoken, and Americans have listened.

Subjects that were largely taboo on Wall Street, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue just six months ago have moved to center stage. Higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Capping the cost of higher education. Corporate greed.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Steve Jobs Listened To Vinyl At Home, Neil Young Says

Neil Young last month in Park City, Utah.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Steve Jobs, the "pioneer of digital music" who brought us the iPod, listened to vinyl records when he was at home because the quality of the sound is better than current digital formats can produce, rock 'n' roll legend Neil Young said Tuesday.

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Election 2012
10:00 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Why Millions of Americans Have No Government ID

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 9:42 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we'd like to focus on another political battle that could influence the general elections in November. Voter ID laws. Thirty-one states have either introduced or tightened voter requirements in recent months. Fifteen of those states have made it mandatory to show government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot. So what's the big deal, you say?

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