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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

Former Arizona county sheriff Richard Mack, a fierce opponent of Obamacare and a leader in the "constitutional sheriff" movement, is struggling to pay his medical bills after he and his wife each faced serious illnesses. The former sheriff and his wife do not have health insurance and started a GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations from family and friends to cover the costs of their medical care.

"Because they are self-employed, they have no medical insurance and are in desperate need of our assistance," reads a note on Mack's personal website.

Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, suffered a heart attack in January and is in recovery. His wife fell ill late last year. Mack is on the board of Oath Keepers, a right-wing fringe group made up of police and military veterans, and is known for supporting Cliven Bundy in his standoff against the federal government. He is also an ardent opponent of Obamacare.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Thursday said that the U.S. has a "responsibility" to insist that those who immigrate to America "assimilate" and "integrate."

"There is nothing wrong with saying, 'If you want to come to America, you should want to be an American,'" he said in a speech to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C. "There is nothing wrong with saying that English is our language, and we’re going to teach American exceptionalism to our children in civics."

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Thursday said that his experience with protests over his law eliminating collective bargaining rights for public employees has prepared him to confront terrorists.

After his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an audience member asked Walker how he would deal with threats like the Islamic State if he were president.

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Amidst speeches from potential 2016 contenders at CPAC, conservative activists pose next to cardboard cut-outs of their favorite lawmakers, dress in patriotic garb, and mull the $500 pricetag on a leather tote bag lined with the words of the U.S. Constitution.

Here are some of the highlights.

Red State's Erick Erickson seems bored already.

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The North Carolina state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would let government officials exempt themselves from performing marriages due to their religious beliefs.

After a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban last year, some of the magistrates that perform marriages threatened to quit if they had to marry same-sex couples.

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A Brooklyn resident arrested for plotting to join the Islamic State cheerfully inquired in an online posting whether getting killed while shooting President Obama was sufficient to become a martyr, according to the charging documents released Wednesday by the Justice Department.

In the online posting that had echoes of a Monty Python sketch, 24-year-old Abdurasal Hasanovich Juraboev, a citizen of citizen of Uzbekistan, conceded he lacked for "any arms" with which to shoot the President, but wanted to know whether such an attack would prove him to be a "dedicated martyer."

"What I am saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do?" Juraboev allegedly wrote on Hilofatnews.com, which the Justice Department described as an "Uzbek language website that propagated ISIL’s ideology and called for its Uzbek-speaking audience to join ISIL."

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on Wednesday said that he won't attend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress next week due to the meeting's proximity to the Israeli elections.

"As a long-time supporter of the U.S-Israel relationship, I believe the timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress — just days before Israeli elections — is highly inappropriate," Kaine said in a statement to Roll Call. "There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership. I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech."

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A Republican Tennessee lawmaker introduced a bill this month that would ask the state attorney general to report any existing "no-go zones" and work to eliminate them, The Tennessean reported.

State Rep. Susan Lynn's bill does not specifically mention Muslims, but may allude to the non-existent Muslim "no-go zones" referenced on Fox News and by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) following the January terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Two Democratic senators on Monday invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the Senate Democratic caucus in a private meeting.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote in a letter to Netanyahu that House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) invitation "threatens to undermine the important bipartisan approach toward Israel," according to Bloomberg News.

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