ObamaNazis Threaten To Prosecute Merchant For Selling ‘Department Of Homeland Stupidity’ Coffee Mugs

Feds Threaten To Prosecute Merchant For Selling ‘Department Of Homeland Stupidity’ Coffee Mugs – CNS

The Department of Justice, on behalf of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has threatened to criminally prosecute a novelty store owner for selling mugs and t-shirts that say, among other things, “Department of Homeland Stupidity” and “The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.”

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The novelty items are sold online at Zazzle.com, which is operated by merchant Dan McCall. The NSA and DHS sent “cease and desist” letters to Zazzle stating that the parody products violate statutes that protect their official seals from misuse.

The NSA and DHS, through the Department of Justice, are “threatening litigation and criminal prosecution if the parody designs weren’t immediately removed,” reported the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.

While the parody products, such as “NSA: Spying on you since 1952,” have been removed from Zazzle’s website, a federal complaint has been filed by Dan McCall against the DHS and NSA, claiming that the cease and desist directives violate his First Amendment rights.

“As the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland states, “This is an action for a judgment rejecting claims made in cease and desist letters that two government agencies sent to an online vendor of T-shirts, mugs and similar merchandise.

“(a) Contrary to the agencies’ claims, images created by a parodist to comment on the agencies by juxtaposing their names and official seals, or altered versions of their seals, with humorous and satirical words and images, do not violate federal statutes barring use of the agencies’ names and seals, as those statutes are construed to avoid conflict with the First Amendment.

“(b) If the statutes are not construed narrowly to permit such use of the agencies’ names and seals, application of those statutes to bar the speech violates the First Amendment.”

Commenting on the case, Judicial Watch said, “The two agencies at the center of this brouhaha most certainly have bigger fish to fry. So does the Department of Justice (DOJ), the agency that has threatened to prosecute the mug and T-shirt creator.”

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Feds Admit IRS Improperly Scrutinized Tax Records Of Candidates, Donors, Yet Holder Refused To Prosecute

Feds Admit Improper Scrutiny Of Candidate, Donor Tax Records – Washington Times

A government watchdog has found for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

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Its investigators also are probing two allegations that the Internal Revenue Service “targeted for audit candidates for public office,” the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, has privately told Sen. Chuck Grassley.

In a written response to a request by Mr. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Mr. George said a review turned up four cases since 2006 in which unidentified government officials took part in “unauthorized access or disclosure of tax records of political donors or candidates,” including one case he described as “willful.” In four additional cases, Mr. George said, allegations of improper access of IRS records were not substantiated by the evidence.

Mr. Grassley has asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to explain why the Justice Department chose not to prosecute any of the cases. The Iowa Republican told The Washington Times that the IRS “is required to act with neutrality and professionalism, not political bias.”

The investigation did not name the government officials who obtained the IRS records improperly, nor did it reveal the identities or political parties of the people whose tax records were compromised. By law, taxpayer records at the IRS are supposed to be confidential.

The disclosures deal another blow to the IRS and the Obama administration, which are still grappling with revelations that IRS agents inappropriately targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extraordinarily burdensome scrutiny during President Obama’s first term. Amid that furor over the abuse of the agency’s powers, the IRS has denied that the tax records of political candidates or donors were improperly accessed.

“The Justice Department should answer completely and not hide behind taxpayer confidentiality laws to avoid accountability for its decision not to prosecute a violation of taxpayer confidentiality laws,” Mr. Grassley told The Times. “With the IRS on the hot seat over targeting certain political groups, it’s particularly troubling to learn about ‘willful unauthorized access’ of tax records involving individuals who were candidates for office or political donors. The public needs to know whether the decision not to prosecute these violations was politically motivated and whether the individuals responsible were held accountable in any other way.”

A spokesman for the Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Mr. Grassley has given Mr. Holder until July 26 to answer his questions.

In a letter July 3, Mr. George told Mr. Grassley that, of the four instances in which tax records were improperly accessed, three cases were determined to be “inadvertent.”

“In the fourth case, we presented evidence of a willful unauthorized access to the Department of Justice, but the case was declined for prosecution,” Mr. George wrote.

Of the three cases that the inspector general called “inadvertent” disclosures, Mr. George said his office referred one to Justice with a recommendation that no prosecution be brought. He said Justice officials agreed with his office’s assessment.

No reason was given for Justice’s rejections of prosecutions in the examples cited by Mr. George. In a July 12 letter to Mr. Holder, Mr. Grassley asked whether the attorney general knew about the cases, who in the Justice Department decided against prosecution, and with which parties the “victims” in the cases were affiliated.

“Although this may not be indicative of wide spread targeting, any instance is cause for concern,” Mr. Grassley wrote. “Even more alarming, in at least one instance TIGTA referred evidence of ‘willful unauthorized access’ to the United States Attorney’s Office, but criminal prosecution was declined. Decisions such as these directly impact the political process and should be subject to the scrutiny of the American public.”

The IRS did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. George’s findings.

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Biden To NRA: We ‘Don’t Have The Time’ To Prosecute Gun Buyers Who Lie On Background Checks

Biden To NRA: We ‘Don’t Have The Time’ To Prosecute Gun Buyers Who Lie On Background Checks – Daily Caller

During the National Rifle Association’s meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and the White House gun violence task force, the vice president said the Obama administration does not have the time to fully enforce existing gun laws.

Jim Baker, the NRA representative present at the meeting, recalled the vice president’s words during an interview with The Daily Caller: “And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.”

Submitting false information on an ATF Form 4473 – required for the necessary background check to obtain a firearm – is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison, depending on prior convictions and a judge’s discretion, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Baker, the NRA’s director of federal affairs, told TheDC that he was given five minutes to present the NRA’s concerns and the approach the group saw as being the most effective to prevent another massacre like the Newtown, Conn. shooting. During those five minutes, he said, he mentioned the need to prosecute existing gun laws.

He pointed to the low number of prosecutions for information falsification and the relatively low felony prosecution rate for gun crimes.

Biden was apparently unmoved by Baker’s concern.

In 2010, prosecutors considered just 22 cases of information falsification, according to a 2012 report to the Department of Justice by the Regional Justice Information Service. Forty additional background-check cases ended up before prosecutors for reasons related to unlawful gun possession.

In all, prosecutors pursued just 44 of those 62 cases. More than 72,600 applications were denied on the basis of a background check.

“We think it is problematic when the administration takes lightly the prosecutions under existing gun laws and yet does not seem to have a problem promoting a whole host of other gun laws,” Baker told TheDC.

“If we are not going to enforce the laws that are on the books, it not only engenders disrespect for the law but it makes law-abiding gun owners wonder why we are going through this exercise we are going through now,” he added.

Gun prosecutions in 2011 were down 35 percent from the previous administration’s peak in 2004, according to Justice Department data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said he was shocked by the administration’s lack of interest in pursuing individuals who lied to obtain a firearm.

“They don’t have time to pursue people who are dangerous, who aren’t supposed to get guns, and the message they have sent is literally ‘Good luck, go get them elsewhere,’” Cox said in an interview with TheDC.

Cox reiterated that he believes the real issues the country needs to deal with are mental health and crime, and he stressed the importance of enforcing and prosecuting existing laws.

“You can talk all you want,” Cox said, “but until there is a will to follow through, then it is literally just going to paper over the problem and guarantee that bad people continue to have access to firearms and good people will be blamed for it.”

Vice President Biden’s press office did not respond to requests for comment.

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