They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

It all started with a chain email.

"There are lessons indoctrinating children with Islam and verses of the Quran along with the United Nations Agenda," a woman named Ginger Russell wrote before quoting from a high-school level world history lesson she said promoted a "loving kinder Islam."

Russell sent the email in October 2012 to school board members and officials in Irving, Texas with the subject line "IRVING ISD INDOCTRINATING ISLAM,” according to a Dallas Morning News report from that time. The newspaper reported that the email prompted the district to launch an investigation into whether the curriculum it used was too pro-Islam.

Just under three years later, a 14-year-old Muslim student at Irving's MacArthur High School was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to class that police thought looked like a "movie bomb."

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To her supporters, Irving, Texas Mayor Beth Van Duyne is a tough-as-nails politician who's not afraid to take on Islam.

To her critics, Van Duyne is a fear-monger who stokes the flames of Islamophobia.

So both Van Duyne's fans and foes can surely find a talking point in the Monday incident where Irving police arrested 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school that they thought looked like a "movie bomb."

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When FBI agents searched the practice of a wealthy Florida ophthalmologist for evidence of health care fraud, they came across a black notebook filled with names and phone numbers, including that of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), in addition to some photos of women in lingerie printed with their body measurements.

Federal prosecutors say Menendez was referenced on nine separate pages in the notebook, which belonged to Dr. Salomon Melgen, the longtime friend and donor accused of bribing the senator in exchange for his advocacy on behalf of Melgen's business interests. An FBI agent wrote in a search warrant that agents at the scene said the notebook "looked to be a ledger of prostitution activities," according to an affidavit.

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The birther movement has come home to roost as the Republican presidential primary heats up.

In a column published last week on the conspiracy theory website WND, author Jack Cashill noted that questions had been raised about whether four of the 17 candidates in the GOP field were really "natural born citizens" and therefore eligible to run for President.

Ted Cruz has already dealt with those questions publicly -- the Canadian-born senator from Texas renounced his citizenship with that country last summer in anticipation of a 2016 bid -- but Cashill also listed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) among those who were suspect.

He even mentioned that Jindal's preferring to go by the name Bobby -- inspired by "The Brady Bunch" -- instead of his given name, Piyush, would make for interesting evidence in a court case focused on his eligibility to run for commander-in-chief.

But who, exactly, was suspicious of these candidates? On what grounds could these four politicians' eligibility to be President be challenged? And why was Santorum, whose background as an Italian-American doesn't get mentioned nearly as frequently as Rubio's Cuban heritage or Jindal's Indian heritage, suspect?

TPM called up Cashill to find out. Cashill notably co-wrote the 2012 book "Officer's Oath" with former Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, who was dismissed from the U.S. Army in 2010 and sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan amid his questions about President Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as commander-in-chief.

Below is a transcript of the conversation that has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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Parris Frazier allegedly thought he was going to make $15,000 per kilogram of cocaine he ripped from a drug cartel’s load vehicle last month at an Arizona warehouse.

Unfortunately for him, according to court records, the man who helped him set up the drug rip was an undercover FBI agent. And instead of a tidy payout, Frazier got a high-speed chase that ended in the arrests of him and two of his associates.

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