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

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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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on Wednesday said that he would not have authorized the invasion of Iraq.

"I've said definitively that I was never in favor of going into Iraq," he told The Hill. "And since we did go in, the big problem is that we didn’t secure victory there, and that’s a huge problem."

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday said that former President George W. Bush (R) may have gone about the Iraq invasion differently if he had known he would be succeeded in the White House by President Obama.

"Everybody else wants to ask that question about, 'Gee, would you have gone into Iraq, you know, knowing what you know now?' And I think if President Bush had known that he would have a total incompetent follow him -- that would not even be able to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, that would start helping our enemies and just totally put the Middle East in chaos -- then he would have to think twice about doing anything if he had known he would have such a total incompetent leader take over after him. That should be the question," Gohmert said in an interview with radio host John Fredericks, according to an audio clip highlighted by Right Wing Watch.

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, insisted on Wednesday that he does not trust Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over President Obama when it comes to the nuclear deal, despite comments the senator made at a recent town hall.

During an event in Cerdarburg, Wisc., Johnson suggested that Obama can't be trusted to relay details about the nuclear deal the U.S. is negotiating with Iran.

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In Tuesday's episode of Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer," the comedian mocks child beauty pageants with a spoof of the television show "Toddlers & Tiaras."

In the "Babies & Bustiers" sketch, Schumer stars as Amy Merryweather Sherman, a 6-year-old with "Fetal Red Bull Syndrome" -- she ages at five times the normal rate.

"I was put on this great earth to win pageants and spread the word of the Almighty," Sherman tells the camera.

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