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

Bill Nye revealed a "stunning breakthrough" about the universe during Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer" on Tuesday night.

After showing a clip of a woman explaining to a friend that the universe told her to start taking a calcium supplement, Nye told viewers, "We now know the universe is essentially a force sending cosmos guidance to white women in their twenties."

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During a mock trial on Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer," comedian Amy Schumer defended Bill Cosby from the numerous sexual assault allegations against him.

After playing a clip from "The Cosby Show," Schumer said she didn't "feel raped" and instead "felt comforted by a familiar father figure, nostalgia, happiness, laughter."

She then argued that the trial "is about not punishing ourselves for loving great comedy." She told the jury that they don't deserve to feel a pang of guilt when watching "The Cosby Show" reruns.

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After former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) abruptly broke the news last week that Bristol Palin had called off her wedding to Dakota Meyer, Bristol on Tuesday addressed the canceled wedding.

"I guess you have seen by now that the wedding — that was supposed to happen last weekend — was called off. I’m sure you’ve seen this has been all over the media, but this is a painful time for family and friends and I would just really appreciate your prayers," Bristol Palin wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

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Updated at 2:25 p.m.

Pamela Geller's anti-Muslim group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, will attempt to launch a new ad campaign in Washington, D.C., using the winning image from the group's controversial Muhammad cartoon contest held in Garland, Texas.

Geller, who has pushed for controversial anti-Islam ads in big city transit systems before, said she submitted the ads to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in the hopes that the cartoon will run on city buses and in Metro train stations.

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Two people died after a shooting at a Wal-Mart in Grand Forks, N.D., early on Tuesday morning, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said that police believe the shooter was one of the two individuals who died following the shooting. A third individual was hospitalized with gunshot wounds, according to Zimmel.

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The Texas state Senate on Monday approved a bill that would restrict minors seeking court permission for an abortion without obtaining consent from a parent.

In Texas, minors must have parental approval for an abortion unless seeking permission could put the individual in danger. In that case, minors can seek court approval for the procedure.

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In an interview published on Thursday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) declined to say whether he would have authorized the Iraq invasion given what he knows now and instead defended former President George W. Bush's decision.

"We should not be ashamed of the war we conducted in Iraq," he told the Washington Examiner.

"You don't get to live life in reverse. What a leader has to do is make a decision, at the moment of decision, based on the best information he has. George Bush did that in 2002 and 2003 and he was supported by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and John Kerry and every western country's intelligence agency," Cotton continued. "There are lessons we can learn from the early days of the Iraq war. One is that we clearly should be more critically analytical about our approach to intelligence assessments."

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) announced on Thursday that he would not participate in the Iowa Straw Poll, which is typically a prominent event in the presidential election.

Huckabee wrote in an op-ed in the Des Moines Register that he will instead focus his campaign's resources on the Iowa caucuses.

"I have concluded this year's Iowa straw poll will serve only to weaken conservative candidates and further empower the Washington ruling class and their hand-picked candidates," Huckabee wrote. "It's clear that pitting conservative candidates with limited resources against each other in a non-binding and expensive summer straw poll battle, while allowing billionaire-backed establishment candidates to sit out, will only wound and weaken the conservative candidates who best represent conservative and hard-working Iowans."

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