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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

Sarah Palin's camp has finally weighed in on the Alaska birthday party brawl that put the former Republican vice presidential nominee and her family back in the national spotlight this past week.

The website Real Clear Politics spoke to what it described as a "source close to the Palin family" who offered the Palins' side of the physical, bloody altercation that took place on Sept. 6 at a house in Anchorage. The article said the source's description "diverge[d] significantly" from what had been reported elsewhere, but the anonymous portrayal essentially confirmed the broad outlines of the fight, including that Sarah Palin herself was present and was shouting as it all went down.

On Friday, TPM published a detailed account of the brawl based on reports from several news outlets as well as our own reporting. Two named eyewitnesses reported seeing the former Alaska governor at the party, including one who said he saw Palin's husband Todd, son Track, and daughter Bristol were involved in multiple melees with other party guests that night. One anonymous source said Sarah Palin was "nearly crawling on top of people" while screaming and shouting profanities.

The source who spoke to Real Clear Politics for its article on Saturday said, however, there were a few details the Palin family saw differently, including how the fighting began.

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The Lancaster New Era on Friday apologized for an editorial cartoon that compared flying on a plane to the ships on which slaves crossed the Atlantic.

John Kirkpatrick III, the president of the Lancaster New Era, and executive editor Barb Roda addressed the "deeply hurtful, offensive" cartoon in an statement on Friday. The paper has deleted the cartoon.

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The Carolina Panthers deactivated defensive end Greg Hardy for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, according to ESPN.

The team would not give a statement on why Hardy has been placed on the inactive list. Hardy awaits trial for domestic violence charges, but as of last week, the team said they would wait for the legal process to finish before disciplining the player.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has been pushing for aggressive action against ISIS and warning about the terrorist group's threat to the homeland, on Sunday seemed unable to deal with President Obama's Middle East policy any longer.

"It’s going to take an army to beat an army, and this idea we’ll never have any boots on the ground to defeat them in Syria is fantasy, and all this has come home to roost over the last three years of incompetent decisions," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." "It’s delusional in the way they approach this."

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White House chief of staff Denis McDonough on Sunday disputed claims that the Obama administration threatened to prosecute the families of the journalists killed by ISIS.

On Friday, Steven Sotloff's family told Yahoo News that White House counterterrorism official told them that if they paid a ransom to ISIS, they could face criminal prosecution. The family of James Foley recalled similar threats from the White House.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Sunday said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would need to resign if he did lie about what the league knew about Ray Rice's domestic assault and the video of him hitting his fiancee.

"Initially I wanted him lead the reform to actually create and enforce a zero-tolerance policy," she said on CBS' "Face the Nation," but said she could change her mind.

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Rep. Mark Sanford's (R-SC) former fiancée had no idea that he was going to announce their break-up in a Facebook post, and said the engagement ended because she "was not useful to him anymore."

While he was governor of South Carolina, Sanford admitted to having an affair with Maria Belen Chapur. He then left his wife, Jenny Sanford, and and later got engaged to Chapur.

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Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said that the U.S. is "at war" with ISIS, signaling a terminology shift in the the administration's description of its mission to defeat the Islamic State.

Though he said that the country is at war, Kerry said that the exact words used to discuss the efforts don't matter.

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The Colorado state school board did not take up a resolution to denounce the AP U.S. History course framework and instead held a debate on the new exam during a Wednesday meeting, according to Chalkbeat Colorado.

After national Republicans decried the "radically revisionist view of American history" in the new framework, Paul Lundeen, the Republican chair of the Colorado Board of Education proposed a resolution bashing the exam. The resolution would have also asked the College Board to delay the new exam for a year.

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