Lobbyists Looking To Call Themselves Something Else: Here Are A Few Suggestions

from the suggest-your-own dept

Like many people, I have a somewhat negative visceral reaction to the concept of lobbyists and lobbying. However, my thinking has been shifting, in large part due to last year's This American Life episode all about lobbying, where you begin to realize that lobbying is a symptom of a messed up campaign finance system, rather than "legalized bribery" as some believe. All too often, it appears, politicians are chasing down lobbyists, trying to get donations, rather than lobbyists "offering up" something. Besides, in theory, having people who can help educate clueless politicians about important issues could be a good thing -- if those politicians are actually hearing from all sides on an issue and then making a decision based on the facts (I know, I know, stop laughing...). Of course, that's not the system we have. At all.

And, because of that, many people blame the lobbyists, and, indeed, under today's system, many lobbyists engage in highly questionable practices, because the potential returns are so high.

Given all of this, it appears that lobbyists are trying to "rebrand" themselves. Apparently the preferred name is "Government Relations." Yes, it's the perfect kind of whitewash of "lobbyist." However, the NY Times has suggested "Congress Plus" as a more appropriate name:
We suggest “Congress Plus” as a more truthful name for an industry that employs more than 400 former members of the Senate and House, plus former Congressional staff members estimated in one study to total 5,400 people over a recent 10-year period. Not to mention untold dozens of lobbyists who smartly shift back and forth to Congressional committee posts as the electoral pendulum makes partisan swings that prove increasingly lucrative for experienced insiders.
So, what are some other suggestions for how lobbyists should rebrand? Here are a few suggestions, and we welcome more in the comments:
  • "Corporate Congress"
  • "Corporate Congressional Liaison"
  • "Special Interest Wrangler"
  • "Government Guide"
  • "Legislative Influencer"
  • "Regulatory Realignment Specialist"
  • "Senate Sherpa"
  • "Government Guru"
  • "Congressional Connector"
  • "Lawfluencers"
We await much better ideas in the comments.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 7:40pm

    how about

    Calling themselves "bloggers and tech gurus"? That seems to work around here pretty well!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Government Purchasing Agent.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 7:57pm

    Remora

    Enough said.

     

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  4.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    Why go for anything complex, call them what they are: 'Symptoms'.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:06pm

    Lawmakers.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    People In Government (PIG)

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:23pm

    Here's an idea

    I think it would be better to allow lobbyists to ask their favourite politicians for the legislation they want in return for a campaign donation, much as they already do, but instead of being able to donate directly, the funds go into a pool that's shared out equally to all politicians running for office. That would give all politicians equal standing, no matter what their platforms.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:32pm

    You missed Congressional Crooks as option.

    There are others I would use, but it seems they are more traditionally used in the porn industry and I wouldn't want to give porn a bad name by being associated with our elected officials (local, state or national)...

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:37pm

    Re: how about

    Calling themselves "bloggers and tech gurus"? That seems to work around here pretty well!

    Hahahahahahaha.... Isn't that the truth.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Here's an idea

    So, instead of a few 'bent' congress critters, they all get bent?

    Better to remove money from politics, in each and every form. That would give equal standing.

    I am not yet convinced that lobbyists are 'good' in any way. It interferes with the communication with the constituents, whom the representatives are supposed to represent. The concept of them being 'consultative' without being 'manipulative' seems like a contradiction of experience based upon, well, the last 60 or so years of my lifetime.

     

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  11.  
    icon
    Nick (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:46pm

    The REAL Lawmakers.

     

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  12.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 8:53pm

    Re: how about

    That seems to work around here pretty well!

    Actually, around here, "Anonymous Coward" works more.

    And I do mean "works" in the sense of "employed."

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    any moose cow word, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 9:20pm

    "Corporate Congress" has already been used in the scifi show Continuum, but still apt nonetheless. 1984 seems to be the template for our current government, this will probably be the next.

     

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  14.  
    icon
    geekwithsoul (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 9:29pm

    Embiggened Grifters

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 9:39pm

    Target Practice.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 9:57pm

    How about "Embedded Policy Development and Implementation Technicians"?

     

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  17.  
    icon
    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), Oct 18th, 2013 @ 10:31pm

    Just call them what they are

    Campaign fundraisers.

    Election Facilitator.

    It doesn't sound so sinister when you hear that Duke Energy hired a lobbyist or Facebook opened an office in D.C. But if you hear that Exxon hired a new Chief Election Facilitator it would be calling a spade a spade.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Balveda, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 11:10pm

    Exponential Enablers

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 11:20pm

    Wealth Transfer Facilitators (WTFs)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 11:26pm

    you left out two other possibilities. "slaves" or "serfs"
    which ever defines them better. whatever everyone else is.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 11:58pm

    I got a couple

    "Parasites" and "sugar daddies"

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 12:09am

    Politically Unaccountable Technocratic Agent (PUTA)

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:12am

    Re: how about

    horse with no name hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  24.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:25am

    How about...

    Official bribers?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Andrew F, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:28am

    Turdblossoms?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:50am

    Democracy Subverters?

    Congress
    Usurping
    Nation
    Trasher
    S?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:53am

    Suppliers of Cash and Underwriters of Money

    You figure out the acronym.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Robert, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:58am

    Substitute Political for Drugs

    It seems the drugs industry provides a full list of potential names;
    Political Pusher
    Political Bagman
    Political Dealer
    Political Trafficker
    Political Dealer
    Political Pedlar
    See just swap out the word 'Drug' for Political and 'ewww' it all seem more accurate and even worse than lobbyist, truth hurts.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 2:33am

    Corrupters Of Government (COG).

    They are just cogs in the machinations of the 1%.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Stosh, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 2:44am

    CHUD
    Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 3:22am

    Organgrinders

    The Senate and Congress are the monkeys

     

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  32.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 3:23am

    Bribetards

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    chiller, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    test samples

    Guillotine blade sharpness test samples...

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 4:27am

    Murder Facilitators

    MFs

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    spectator, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 4:35am

    Strings of Puppetmasters

    Strings of Puppetmasters with a brown nose

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Zem, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Herpes

     

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  37.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 4:49am

    Why is it that when people think of lobbying, they only think of corporate lobbying? Lobbying is not an inherent evil because it allows for all people/special interest groups to have a say in policy making. If lobbying were banned, what would happen to all the charities who interact with government every day? The activists who bring petitions to their representatives everyday?

    Here in the UK we have a really bad piece of legislation on the go that has been suitably dubbed the 'Gagging Bill' that seeks to seriously limit the power of ordinary people to influence government.

    Of course, corporate lobbying has got out of hand with companies spending eye watering amounts on lobbying efforts. This should be drastically curbed but NOT at the expense of the public and special interest groups.

     

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  38.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Here's an idea

    "I am not yet convinced that lobbyists are 'good' in any way."

    Even the charities who bring their interests to government? They are lobbyists.

    What about the people who start petitions for a cause and bring those to governments? They are lobbyists too.

    There is more to lobbying than corporate lobbying and I really wish people would remember this.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Banditi.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 5:44am

    Money launderers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    I Forgot, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    BBG

    Big Brother Gropers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Andrew Norton (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:04am

    "The defendant"

     

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  43.  
    icon
    Violynne (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    I'm surprised no one has offered the most obvious, the name everyone uses now:

    Assholes.

    Okay, maybe it's just my word, but it does have a nice ring to it and it's the only word which truly emphasizes the people who seek to destroy civil liberties of others.

     

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  44.  
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    Wolfy, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    Re: Names

    Bribists.

     

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  45.  
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    Nick (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Democracy Perverts

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    Elected politicians are meant to represent the people that elect them. Lobbyists always represent some special interest group. Therefore with lobbying, the politicians listen to a representative of a group, some of whom claim to represent the people, but in all cases are only answerable to the people who fund them. The result is that special interest groups, including corporate lobbyists, have a disproportionate influence on the politicians and frequently drown out the voices of the electorate. This helps to alienate the electorate from politics, as it appears that the politicians are representing the lobbyists, not the electorate.

     

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  47.  
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    MacCruiskeen, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    Legislative Engineering? Legislation Innovators? Let's go down and see what's cooking in the legislation lab! Hmmm this one's still in beta, not ready for release yet...

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    hmmm

    D-Bags
    Economic Espionagists
    USA haters
    Democracy Destroyers
    Greedy Bastards
    Lew Perverters

    Lobbyists is fine, people know what it means.

     

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  49.  
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    Pixelation, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 8:34am

    Lobbyist suggests they are still in the lobby.

    Officists would be closer to the truth.

     

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  50.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    My vote is for

    GevernmentAL - AL as in a$$ l!k3er...

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    I suppose we Citizens should get a new name too.

    Non-Combatant Casualties

     

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  52.  
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    Edger, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    One more that comes to mind...

    "Consigliere"
    "My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse... Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature would be on the contract".

     

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  53.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 10:44am

    Politician Puppetmasters

    Politician Puppetmasters

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Why not just tell it like it is:

    Corporate Shills
    Corporate Pimps

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    eroticreader, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Lets call them corporate S.L.U.T.S.

    Scandalous
    Legislative
    Usurping
    Traitorous
    Scumbags

    It is sufficiently derogatory and fitting enough for those who resort to such practices.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    phils, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    American
    Survey
    Specialists
    Helping
    Out
    Legislative
    Efforts

     

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  57.  
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    Uriel-238 (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here's an idea

    Apparently, the lobbyists themselves seem to think that what they do is morally questionable. Otherwise they wouldn't be looking for a name change. The term lobbyist is not intrinsically derisive.

    I think lobbyists who appeal to the merit of their cause, rather than by purchasing support are Special Interest Groups. Not sure, though.

    As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States
    Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
    Saturday, October 19, 2013 12:37:47 PM
    lemon hymn turtle carpet bulb minute square college

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Oct 19th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here's an idea

    Incidentally, charities seldom spend more than 50% of their contributions on the cause they allegedly support. In fact, most spend less than 20%.

    The rest goes to the engine that generates revenues.

    So are charities good? Questionable.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    MacCruiskeen, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here's an idea

    It is true that the legal basis for lobbying is the constitutionally guaranteed right to petition the government. Therefore, any limitations on lobbying would have to be done in a way that respected the rights of individual citizens. Not that anyone in Congress has any motivation to do that.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Coyne Tibbets, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Legislative Interest Enforcer (LIE)

     

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  61.  
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    Davey, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    Or how about just Weasels?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here's an idea

    Your "charities" and "petitioners" are usually fronts for corporate concerns.

    Can you say astro turf?

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    BLiP, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Shady Legislation Under Terrible Supervision - SLUTS

    Money And Legislation Workshops Are Reoccurring Events - MALWARE

    Valuable Inside Relations Under Siege -VIRUS

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:08pm

    - Exotic dancer, after all they all grab the pole and do the dance already.
    - Law surveyors
    - Law salesman
    - Facelaw adimin.
    - Law handyman.
    - GoG - Government over growth.
    - Boom, boom lawmaking, We all like parties right?
    - Strange public agency growth. SPAG's
    - D&D G-Player. The G is not for gay/gal/girl/groupie is for government dude.
    - Stripclub negotiator.
    - Bench lawmaking, how do you call the people who get benched and still keep screaming what others need to do?
    - Wamlaw.
    - Law making clerks?
    - Up & Down people.
    - NIC - Non Interactive Character
    - NPC - Non Playing Character.
    - FAAP - Future A.A. Participant
    - Marvin Gaye Lawmaking, There is no "donation" low enough.
    - SAS - Shark Attack Session.
    - Law raider
    - Law rider
    - Carousel operator.
    - Merry Go Round VIP.
    - Government Resources Analyst Personnel.
    - Congress barnacle.
    - Parasitic law making.
    - BDSM - Bureaucratic Deep System Manager
    - COG - Children of G.
    - Law Dealer.
    - Law Pimp.
    - Law Pumper.

    OMG I could spend the whole day doing this.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Just call them what they are

    Facilitator is euphemism for lub?

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    jt, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 6:43pm

    scumbags

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 7:59pm

    More labels from someone who 'does not like labels'

    But Mr Masnick, you recently said you were not "into" labels, you would rather look at the substance and facts..

    But I guess when it's the hatred for the US Government, you'll just say ANYTHING !!

    I am very sure, there would be a great number of 'labels' that could (accurately) directed towards you.
    A least you've developed the art of writing a "FLAMEBAIT" piece.

    I am sure your "insert label here" readers are really impressed !!!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    Mr Masnick

    You write letters representing your interests groups to politicians, so I guess you are a lobbyist as well !!!

    Which label do you prefer ?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: how about

    you should know, the truth has no place here on TD !!!

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: how about

    Not your faux truth anyways :)

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 9:44pm

    Skunkworker - work the skunks
    Imageneer - dream laws up.
    Weirdlawmaking - law making based on spooky behavior at a distance
    Lobotomist - responsible for transforming laws into vegetables.
    Wannabegov - poser trying to pass for lawmaker.
    MOTS - Master of the skunks.
    GC - Gloryhole clerk.
    Cabbie - they all ride the government hard all year long.
    Lawshisper
    Govwhisper
    Lawwasp - the sting is a bitch.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2013 @ 11:11pm

    LoF - Lords of the flies

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    identicon
    horse with no name, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: how about

    No I don't, but I do dislike flaming baiting trolls.

    Mike Masnick: Why don't you deal with this troll?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: how about

    so you call on masnick to censor thing because you don't like it, for him to abuse free speech, and censorship so you can get your own way..

    Its just possible that Masnick stands up for free speech, and is against censorship.

    I don't have to like what you say, but I will die for your right to say it. Is it possible that Mr Masnick is of the same opinion?, or do you think free speech and censorship should be selectively applied simply to accommodate your biases ?

     

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  75.  
    icon
    Blue Adept (profile), Oct 20th, 2013 @ 4:27am

    How about

    F.U.C.K.E.R.S (For Upholding Congressional Knowledge & Eternal Rectum Suckers)

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: how about

    Masnick's toadies and lickspittles only care about freedom of speech as it applies to their ability to obtain the copyrighted creative output of others without compensating them for it. That's their idea of F-R-E-E speech.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Cartels ,
    Overlords,
    The Masters,
    Earlobe Ninjas,
    Dingleberry Cartel Crew= DCC,
    Earwax Conglomerates of America = ECoA,
    Honorless America Killers = HAC,
    Corporation Kings,
    Serial Killers ,
    Remember folks Corps think they a a single entity a person

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Mike, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Re: How about

    I like it. Except I think it should be Sucking not Suckers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    ipgrunt (profile), Oct 20th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Simply, they are called:

    My Constituency

    I have no trouble with lobbyists, per se -- it is the money they dispense that causes corruption.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Oct 20th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: how about

    "I don't have to like what you say, but I will die for your right to say it."

    The line you have quoted refers to government censorship. This is a privately owned and operated website, and you have no legal or moral expectation of free speech. You and everyone else here are granted the privilege of commenting, and Mike can take steps to prevent you from commenting is he so wishes. Techdirt has an extremely high tolerance of purely trollish behaviour, but I have no problem at all with someone who contributes nothing of any worth (i.e. not even a dissenting opinion) being prevented from commenting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: how about

    Whined the Prenda fanboy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Oct 20th, 2013 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: how about

    "so you call on masnick to censor thing because you don't like it, for him to abuse free speech, and censorship so you can get your own way.. "

    I am only asking Mike to deal with off topic flaming trolls. "prenda fanboy" comments have little to do with the topic at hand, and are rather false on top of it. You can see that the entire discussion here has been uprooted by your trolling.

    It's sad that Techdirt chooses to ignore your very obvious actions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    Rocco Maglio (profile), Oct 21st, 2013 @ 5:58am

    A large number of lobbyist lobby the Obama Administration. The administration is responsible for the day to day running of the government. Many of the most contentious issues of today are being done through the admininstation the EPA (carbon tax), HHS (ACA implementation), etc. The names of lobbyist that were developed ignore this reality. Here are some names that reflect this reality.

    Friend of Administration
    Presidents Bag Men

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2013 @ 7:11am

    burn!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Re:

    Criminals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Prisoner #452368

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2013 @ 8:08am

    Voices in our Lawmakers' Ears (VILE)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    Brock Phillimore (profile), Oct 21st, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Political Pimps

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Oct 21st, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Electoral circumvention engineer

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Re: how about

    I see that you are calling on Masnick to block trollish comments that are off-topic or do not add to the discussion. Why do we not start with you? Certainly your attempts at disparaging those that post and comment on this site is of little to no value to the conversation. The rare few of your posts ever seem to approach anything that could be considered contributions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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