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

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) on Tuesday argued that instead of labeling Russia's annexation of Crimea as "aggression," the United States should be "pleased" that Crimeans established "self-determination" for themselves.

"This is not some new Cold War that's occurring," he said during a Foreign Affairs Committee markup, as quoted by the Daily Caller. "In fact it’s quite the contrary. We should be pleased to see, pleased to see, when a virtually bloodless transfer of power establishes self-determination for two million people somewhere in the world, anywhere in world."

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In an ongoing feud sparked by Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) comments on poverty in inner cities, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on Wednesday slammed Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's "race hustlers" remark as "disgusting and divisive."

After Ryan's initial comments, Lee criticized his claim as a "thinly veiled racial attack." The Wisconsin Republican later said he was "inarticulate" and sought out a meeting with Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus.

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It seems Planet Hillary may have some competition.

Scientists reported on Wednesday that they have discovered a possible new dwarf planet that orbits the sun beyond Pluto, according to Nature.

The discovery team has named the object "2012 VP113" for now, nicknaming it "VP" or "Biden" for short after Vice President Joe Biden. Scientists won't submit its official name to the International Astronomical Union until they fully understand the dwarf planet's orbit, according to Nature.

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A Dutch museum with Crimean gold and artifacts on loan from Ukraine is unsure where to return the art now that Russia has annexed the region, according to The Art Newspaper.

The archeological museum at the University of Amsterdam asked Dutch authorities to issue guidance on what to do with the artifacts when its temporary exhibit closes this summer.

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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday sympathized with polling whiz Nate Silver, characterizing him as former hero of Democrats.

"This is what they tend to do. They invest in a singular, messianic personality -- and when that person doesn't follow what they hope or want, then they are challenged," Limbaugh said on his show. "I mean, it's a sanity challenge. So they're very upset and turning on him, and it probably is going to get worse for the poor guy before it gets better."

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A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Kansas can strip two Planned Parenthood clinics of federal funding while the organization proceeds with its lawsuit against the state, according to the Associated Press.

Planned Parenthood sued Kansas after it passed a law that requires federal family planning money to first go to hospitals and public health departments, leaving little funding for clinics like Planned Parenthood. The organization argues that the state is targeting them for advocating abortion rights.

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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on Tuesday defended Russia's annexation of Crimea, arguing that the people of the region had a right to secede from Ukraine, Buzzfeed reported.

"From what I understand, what happened in Crimea, not one person was killed. Maybe one — maybe there was one," he said during a markup of the Ukraine Support Act in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday said Mitt Romney was wrong in 2012 about the extent of Russia's power in the world. Russia isn't the United States' "No. 1 geopolitical foe" but rather a "regional power," he countered.

Holding a joint news conference with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Nuclear Security Conference at The Hague, Obama was asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl whether Romney had a point given Russia's recent invasion of the Ukrainian Crimea and their position on Syria's civil war.

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