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

The Texas government last week warned a refugee agency in the state that the group could face legal action if it does not comply with the governor's order to stop resettling Syrian refugees in Texas, but the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said on Monday that it would continue to aid refugees from Syria.

In a Nov. 25 letter to the Dallas chapter of the International Rescue Committee, Chris Traylor, the executive commissioner of the state Health and Human Services Commission, reminded the group of the governor's decision earlier in November to stop cooperating with the federal government's plans to resettle refugees from Syria in Texas.

"We have been unable to achieve cooperation with your agency," Traylor wrote in the letter, according to the Dallas Morning News. "Specifically, your agency insists on resettling certain refugees from Syria in the near future."

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Donald Trump on Monday afternoon said that his private meeting with black religious leaders went well, despite public statements from numerous pastors who attended the event condemning the Republican presidential candidate's treatment of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I saw love in that room. I see love everywhere I go," Trump told reporters after the event, according to CNN.

"This meeting was amazing. Amazing people," he continued. "The meeting went so much longer, and it went longer only because of the love. It didn't go longer for other reasons."

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday criticized those who have linked the deadly shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic last week with anti-abortion rhetoric, arguing that most criminals are actually Democrats.

During a discussion of the shooting with Cruz, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said, "I have never met — not once — a single pro-life activist who is in favor of violence of any sort."

Cruz responded that he hadn't either.

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Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) last week hurled another accusation at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an attempt to discredit a study on climate change the agency published in June.

Smith, the chairman of the House Science Committee, penned an op-ed for the Washington Times stating that the NOAA purposefully ignored satellite data and instead used data on the earth's surface temperature in order to support the belief that climate change is real. He is targeting a climate study that used an updated data set on ocean and earth temperatures. That NOAA study contradicted earlier research showing that global warming has slowed.

The op-ed is the latest move in Smith's months-long crusade against NOAA. The Republican congressman has issued a subpoena of NOAA scientists' internal communications about the study and has threatened to subpoena the NOAA's parent agency, the Commerce Department, if the NOAA does not turn over the documents. However, the NOAA has continuously refused to turn over the internal documents, citing the importance of the confidentiality of scientists' discussion.

Smith has accused the NOAA of altering "the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda."

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Politico's Mike Allen on Monday morning apologized for an email recently surfaced by Gawker in which the reporter promised to provide Chelsea Clinton with the questions ahead of a proposed interview.

Allen, who writes Politico's tip sheet "Playbook," sent an email to Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines in January 2013 offering a "no risk" interview with Chelsea Clinton, according to Gawker. The email read:

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Sunday dismissed the idea that anti-abortion rhetoric influenced the shooter who opened fire in a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, referencing reports that the suspected shooter is a "transgendered leftist activist."

During a press conference in Iowa, Cruz slammed "vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life" for the shooting, the Texas Tribune reported.

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This post has been updated.

Donald Trump's campaign canceled a Monday press conference with black religious leaders after numerous of the pastors set to attend the event signaled that they would not endorse the Republican presidential candidate.

The campaign announced last week that Trump would hold a press conference with 100 black evangelical pastors who would endorse him.

But over the weekend, numerous of the leaders set to attend the event made it clear that they would not endorse Trump. Bishop Clarence McClendon, a minister based in Los Angeles, wrote on Facebook that he would not endorse the candidate "because until he learns how to respect people you can't represent me thru my endorsement," according to Politico.

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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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