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 Mississippi Department of Education reversed course Wednesday on its plans to follow the Obama administration's guidelines for accommodating transgender students after Republican lawmakers in the state decried the new policy.

"Pending a discussion with the Mississippi State Board of Education, I am instructing the Mississippi Department of Education to follow the lead of state leadership and take no action at this time regarding the non-regulatory guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education," Dr. Carey Wright, the state superintendent of education, said in a statement.

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The attorneys general of Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia on Tuesday sent a letter to Obama administration officials, asking whether the new federal government guidance on how to accommodate transgender students will threaten federal funding to states that ignore the guidelines.

"The so-called ‘significant guidance’ issued by the Obama Administrations raises more questions than it answers, just as it creates concerns among anyone who believes sex is a biological fact and not a personal preference," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement announcing the letter.

"As billions of dollars appear to be at stake based upon schools’ compliance with this guidance, the Obama Administration must be extremely clear about what is and isn’t allowed, and explain how their actions do not add requirements to the law, as their letter claims," he added.

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A former Democratic state representative, Mark Anthony De Simone, was charged with murder on Monday after he allegedly shot and killed a man at a cabin in Excursion Inlet, Alaska, according to the Juneau Empire.

Duilio Antonio Rosales, a jeweler and Juneau resident, was found by police on Sunday after being shot in the head. Witnesses called the Coast Guard after De Simone confessed to the crime, according to a charging document reviewed by the Alaska Dispatch News. Police charged De Simone with first degree murder, two counts of second degree murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide, according to the Dispatch News.

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the chair of the Democratic National Committee, on Tuesday night said that Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) statement responding to reports of violence at the Nevada Democratic Convention was insufficient.

"Unfortunately, the senator’s response was anything but acceptable. It certainly did not condemn his supporters for acting violently or engaging in intimidation tactics and instead added more fuel to the fire," Wasserman Schultz said on CNN.

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It's not even summer yet, and this election year is jumping the shark.

Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) re-election campaign on Monday mocked his primary opponent for entertaining constituents' chemtrail conspiracy theories. But it turns out McCain last year forwarded to the Environmental Protection Agency a letter from a constituent concerned about chemtrails, and asked the EPA to respond.

In the April 2015 cover letter, McCain notified the EPA that a constituent had "encountered a problem."

"Because the situation is under your jurisdiction, I am respectfully referring this matter to you for consideration," the letter reads.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday refused to answer a question about reports that Donald Trump has a history of mistreating women.

"I'm not going to get into the day-to-day, up and down of this campaign," Paul said at a Hill press conference when asked if he was concerned about Trump's reported behavior around women.

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Donald Trump on Monday told the Washington Post that he would reverse the Obama administration's new guidelines for schools on how to accommodate transgender students, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee also expressed willingness to protect transgender individuals.

"It is a very, very small portion of the population, but as I said, you have to protect everybody, including small portions of the population," Trump told the Post.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who dropped out of the presidential race the day following the Indiana primary, on Monday said he was disappointed about the way Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus reacted to Donald Trump's win in the state.

"The interesting part about that is when Indiana happened, and you had the chairman of the Republican party endorse Trump, which I thought was completely inappropriate..." Kasich told CNN's Anderson Cooper when asked whether he had second thoughts about dropping out of the race.

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In a Monday night Twitter rant, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tore into a Washington Post story about what the former presidential candidate will do next.

The Florida senator chastised the paper for using unnamed sources to report that Rubio has not yet decided what to do when his Senate term is up. Rubio said that sources who claim they are "close to" him often don't know much about him or his plans.

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