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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

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said that for now, the United States will pursue diplomatic options first in order to convince Russia to pull back after it initiated military presence in Crimea, Ukraine.

"This is a time for diplomacy, and we will engage diplomatically as much as we can in order to steal this away from the increase in the tension of the level of the crisis. Nobody wants this to spiral into a bad or worse direction," Kerry said on ABC's "This Week." "It seems to me that if Russia were to step back and look at where its interests are, we ought to be able to work this out through the diplomatic process. If Russia chooses not to, there will be serious repercussions."

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Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for his decision to send troops into Crimea, a part of Ukraine strategically important to Russia.

“It’s really 19th century behavior in the twenty-first century," Kerry said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests."

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Members of Congress on Sunday urged President Obama to take a strong stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin's military presence in Crimea, a province in Ukraine strategically important to Russia.

"Putin's trying to make a new Russian empire and we should stand up," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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A few restaurants in a Florida chain have started implementing an Affordable Care Act surcharge, but employees' coverage doesn't start until December, according to CNN.

Gator's Dockside restaurant group is charging patrons to help with compliance costs.

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In a letter endorsing a different candidate for the U.S. Senate race in Texas, a Tea Party group slammed Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) and his bizarre bid for Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) seat.

"As your campaign rolled into 2014, Texans have witnessed what might be the laziest statewide campaign to date. The media salted your staff with questions, but these questions were sneered at and rebuffed," the group wrote, according to the Dallas Morning News.

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This post has been updated.

An effort to keep openly gay athletes from playing in the National Football League has gained little traction in Congress, and even one of the House's most conservative members, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), said he wouldn't support such legislation.

"I think what it amounts to is the locker room in the NFL is full of women reporters, so it’s kind of hard to make an argument against a gay person in there, whatever their gender," King told the Huffington Post on Thursday.

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Tennessee state Rep. Matthew Hill (R) has introduced a bill that would require the state to print "sex offender" on the driver's license of every offender in the Tennessee registry, according to Slate.

Hill wants the offense to be noted in three different places on the license and in red lettering. The lawmaker thinks that the law will help people identify sex offenders at "malls, grocery stores, retail outlets—all kinds of places where children are." Hill said a constituent was concerned about sex offenders snatching children at day care centers.

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Phoenix, Ariz. Mayor Greg Stanton (D) said on Wednesday that even though he was sure Gov. Jan Brewer (R) would veto the controversial anti-gay bill, the measure passed by the legislature already hurt the state's reputation.

"I've got to be honest with you. Much damage has already been done," he told the Huffington Post in an interview conducted before the governor vetoed he legislation.

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