Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Major textbooks used in California middle schools do not accurately portray climate change or the science behind it, describing it as a debate, not a fact, according to a Stanford University study.

Researchers analyzed four textbooks published almost 10 years ago that are commonly used in sixth grade classes, the first year that California students learn about climate change.

"We found that through language choices, the text portrayed climate change as uncertain along several lines, such as whether climate change was happening, whether humans were causing it and what the effects will be," K.C. Busch, one of the paper's co-authors and doctorate candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, said in a statement about the research.

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President Obama on Wednesday told the American public that according to U.S. intelligence, there are not any "specific and credible" threats of terrorist attacks in the United States.

He assured Americans that his national security team was working to keep the country safe by monitoring intelligence and stepping up efforts against the Islamic State abroad.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has the poorest understanding of climate science of all the 2016 presidential candidates, according to a report card prepared for the Associated Press by eight climate and biological scientists.

On a scale from zero to 100, the scientists gave Cruz a six.

"This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner," Michael Mann, a meteorology professor at Pennsylvania State University, wrote about Cruz's comments, according to the AP. "That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president."

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Wednesday morning threw cold water on Donald Trump's claims that he saw Muslim Americans in New Jersey cheering after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"I don't believe it happened. I know many Muslims that were just as angry and saddened by the attack on our country. I don't believe it," Bush said on CNN when asked about Trump's comments.

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MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday night quizzed Rep. Steve King (R-IA) about the conservative congressman's belief that Muslim immigrants from the Middle East are largely unwilling to assimilate into American culture.

Hayes played a clip of King saying earlier on Tuesday that he has not seen an example of Muslim immigrants having "assimilated" into the U.S. The MSNBC host asked King if he could back up his statement.

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Fox News host Megyn Kelly on Tuesday night questioned whether a protester in Chicago on Tuesday night should have stared down a police officer, arguing with one of her panelists, radio host Richard Fowler.

Hundreds of Chicagoans took to the streets on Tuesday night to protest the deadly shooting of black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer last year. The video of the shooting was released on Tuesday evening.

During a panel discussion on her show, Kelly interrupted when she saw an image of a man staring at a police officer in Chicago during the protests.

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After Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) last week said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rushed the publication of its June climate study, Science, the research journal that published the research, rebutted the congressman's claims this week.

"This paper went through as rigorous a review as it could have received," Ginger Pinholster, the chief communications officer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the group that publishes Science, told the Washington Post in an interview published on Monday. "Any suggestion that the review was ‘rushed’ is baseless and without merit."

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This post has been updated.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on Monday against Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) on behalf of the refugee agency that redirected a Syrian refugee family from Indiana to Connecticut at the request of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to keep the governor from withholding any state or federal refugee resettlement funds from Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc., and states that Pence's rejection of refugees from Syria is unconstitutional.

"This lawsuit is calling out Governor Pence on his unconstitutional bluff," Judy Rabinovitz, deputy legal director of the ACLU's immigrants' rights project, said in a statement. "He does not have the power to pick and choose between which lawfully-admitted refugees he is willing to accept. Singling out Syrian refugees for exclusion from Indiana is not only ethically wrong, it is unconstitutional. Period."

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After telling reporters that he "saw the film" of American Muslims in New Jersey cheering on Sept. 11, 2001, Ben Carson walked back his comments and said he was unsure of where the footage of celebrations was taken.

Donald Trump recently surfaced the debunked rumors that on 9/11 "thousands" of New Jersey residents cheered during the attack. And when asked on Monday, Carson said that he saw the newsreels of the alleged celebrations in New Jersey.

Later in the day, Carson's campaign told ABC News that the candidate did not mean to say he saw cheering in New Jersey, but that he meant to refer to celebrations in the Middle East.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) trails Donald Trump by just two points among Iowa Republicans, showing the senator closing in on the real estate in the key primary state, according to a poll released on Tuesday by Quinnipiac University.

Among likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers, Trump received 25 percent support, while Cruz received 23 percent. Cruz has jumped 13 points since Quinnipiac's October poll, which showed Carson leading Trump in the state.

In the poll released on Tuesday, 18 percent of likely caucusgoers supported Carson, down from 28 percent in October.

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