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 North Carolina state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would let government officials exempt themselves from performing marriages due to their religious beliefs.

After a federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban last year, some of the magistrates that perform marriages threatened to quit if they had to marry same-sex couples.

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A Brooklyn resident arrested for plotting to join the Islamic State cheerfully inquired in an online posting whether getting killed while shooting President Obama was sufficient to become a martyr, according to the charging documents released Wednesday by the Justice Department.

In the online posting that had echoes of a Monty Python sketch, 24-year-old Abdurasal Hasanovich Juraboev, a citizen of citizen of Uzbekistan, conceded he lacked for "any arms" with which to shoot the President, but wanted to know whether such an attack would prove him to be a "dedicated martyer."

"What I am saying is, to shoot Obama and then get shot ourselves, will it do?" Juraboev allegedly wrote on Hilofatnews.com, which the Justice Department described as an "Uzbek language website that propagated ISIL’s ideology and called for its Uzbek-speaking audience to join ISIL."

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on Wednesday said that he won't attend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress next week due to the meeting's proximity to the Israeli elections.

"As a long-time supporter of the U.S-Israel relationship, I believe the timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress — just days before Israeli elections — is highly inappropriate," Kaine said in a statement to Roll Call. "There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership. I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech."

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A Republican Tennessee lawmaker introduced a bill this month that would ask the state attorney general to report any existing "no-go zones" and work to eliminate them, The Tennessean reported.

State Rep. Susan Lynn's bill does not specifically mention Muslims, but may allude to the non-existent Muslim "no-go zones" referenced on Fox News and by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) following the January terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Two Democratic senators on Monday invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the Senate Democratic caucus in a private meeting.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote in a letter to Netanyahu that House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) invitation "threatens to undermine the important bipartisan approach toward Israel," according to Bloomberg News.

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Fox News' "The Five" co-host Greg Gutfeld on Monday slammed actress Patricia Arquette for her speech at the Oscars calling for wage equality in the U.S.

"Now one could point out that single childless women in their twenties earn more than their male counterparts, that it’s not about equal rights. Wage discrimination after all is illegal," Gutfeld said after playing a clip of Arquette's speech.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday criticized the treatment of blacks and Muslims in the United States in a series of tweets referencing Malcolm X, who was a member of the Nation of Islam before embracing Sunni Islam.

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Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) this weekend lamented that President Obama is not doing enough to fight the Islamic State because he does not believe that America is "exceptional."

"He was going to 'degrade and destroy.' Well, I don’t see any evidence of degrading, and I don’t see certainly any evidence of destroying, ISIS," Smith said on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program, according to audio published by Right Wing Watch.

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Sunday defended former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's (R) comments questioning President Obama's patriotism.

"The reality is that Rudy has taken our debate — and I think we should thank him for this part of it — back to national security, to the key element that the president should be focusing on," Issa said on CNN's "State of the Union." "He needs to call it Islamic terrorism. He can’t be looking at everything through the vision that somehow that if you treat people better or more democratic, you’re not going to have terrorism."

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