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

Doug Hughes, the Florida mailman who flew his gyrocopter through restricted airspace and onto the U.S. Capitol grounds earlier this week, was released from jail on Thursday, but was placed in home detention while he faces charges

Hughes was charged with flying an unlicensed gyrocopter, which is a felony, and with violation national defense airspace, which is a misdemeanor. He could face up to three years in prison for the felony charge and up to one year for the misdemeanor, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was also barred from returning to Washington, D.C. or operating an aircraft.

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Fox Business host Charles Payne on Wednesday said that he thinks President Obama may issue reparations for slavery in 2016, which Payne said would be a "mistake."

Payne mentioned Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's support for a reparations package for torture victims of former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge. Payne said that this news suggested that the White House may also push for reparations and apologize for slavery.

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A Florida official on Wednesday repeated the phrase "climate change" during a state senate committee hearing in an attempt to prove that the Florida government does not ban its employees form using terms like "climate change" and "global warming."

Jonathan Steverson, the former director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, was appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott (pictured above) in December as secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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A Republican Florida state senator on Tuesday grilled a lobbyist for Americans for Prosperity about the group's mailers criticizing senators' support for a Medicaid expansion bill, calling the mailers "misleading."

During a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services hearing on Tuesday, state Sen. Rene Garcia said that Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by the Koch brothers, had sent mailers to the residents in his district claiming that Garcia has not addressed the issue of telemedicine.

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Doug Hughes, the Florida mailman who flew his gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol grounds on Wednesday, wrote on his website that he warned President Obama about his plan to personally deliver mail to Congress so that the Secret Service could be made aware that he was not a threat.

"My flight is not a secret. Before I took off, I sent an Email* to info@barackobama.com. The letter is intended to persuade the guardians of the Capitol that I am not a threat and that shooting me down will be a bigger headache than letting me deliver these letters to Congress," Hughes wrote on his website dedicated to his plan, DemocracyClub.org.

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NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel issued a statement on Wednesday correcting details about the gunmen who kidnapped him and his crew in Syria in December 2012.

In his statement, Engel said that following the incident, he incorrectly claimed that Shiite gunmen of the Shabiha militia loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad kidnapped him and his team.

However, after an inquiry from the New York Times about the incident, Engel and his team discovered that they were abducted by a Sunni militant group who merely claimed to be affiliated with the Shabiha. The NBC team was also likely freed by a rebel group with ties to the gunmen that kidnapped them.

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Radio host Tavis Smiley on Wednesday night joined "The O'Reilly Factor" to debate the Fox News show's host, Bill O'Reilly, over police misconduct.

At the beginning of the show, O'Reilly said that with new technology, it's "easy for cop haters to demonize the entire law enforcement community," according to a clip highlighted by Mediaite. He criticized those who believe that selling illegal drugs is a nonviolent crime and said that these "insane views of the world can poison actual societies."

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The Oklahoma attorney general on Tuesday defended schools who allowed the distribution of bibles to students, claiming that religious freedom is under attack in the U.S., according to the Tulsa World.

"Few things are as sacred and as fundamental to Oklahomans as the constitutional rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion," Attorney General Scott Pruitt wrote in a letter to public school superintendents. "It is a challenging time in our country for those who believe in religious liberty. Our religious freedoms are under constant attack from a variety of groups who seek to undermine our constitutional rights and threaten our founding principles."

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