The Resistance Now: robots join the movement

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Barack Obama defends Affordable Care Act as protesters mobilize across US; thousands sign petition to keep PBS funding; anti-transgender bus defaced

This week in the resistance

A robot joined the fight to defend Obamacare which remains in place indefinitely following a stunning defeat for Donald Trump this afternoon.

Resistbot launched earlier this month but picked up traction this week as protesters sought creative ways to pressure politicians on the healthcare vote.

Created by startup entrepreneur Eric Ries, it turns text messages into faxes which are then sent to members of Congress. And its free Resistbot is supported by donations.

Resistbot was born out of my personal frustrations with trying to contact my members of Congress, Ries said.

My reps phone lines are always jammed, and theres only someone there during the day […] So I designed Resistbot to solve this problem for me. It makes it insanely easy to generate a fax to each of my representatives every day.

Barack joins the fight

Barack Obama broke his silence to defend the Affordable Care Act and appeal to Congress to resist the GOP healthcare bill.

Hours before the scheduled vote, the former president wrote that he had always said we should build on this law [the ACA], just as Americans of both parties worked to improve social security, Medicare, and Medicaid over the years. But he noted more than 20 million people had been helped onto insurance and implied the healthcare legislation backed by Trump would not be an improvement.

So if Republicans are serious about lowering costs while expanding coverage to those who need it, and if theyre prepared to work with Democrats and objective evaluators in finding solutions that accomplish those goals thats something we all should welcome. But we should start from the baseline that any changes will make our healthcare system better, not worse for hardworking Americans.

Healthcare
Healthcare demonstrators protest outside the White House. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Saving Donald Grump

Dozens of people travelled to the Capitol in DC on Tuesday to deliver a petition signed by 660,000 thousand people against cuts to PBS.

Trumps proposed budget calls for the elimination of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which helps fund PBS and NPR.

Big
Big Bird, seen here in happier times. Photograph: Matt Sayles/AP

The Washington Post noted that Sesame Street has parodied Trump for decades with a sporadically appearing character called Donald Grump. An episode from 1994 sees Big Bird lead a march against Grump played by Joe Pesci to stop his evil plan to demolish Sesame Street and replace it with Grump Tower.

The resistances villain of the week

This bus.

Free
Trans rights activists protest in front of the #FreeSpeechBus. Photograph: Alba Vigaray/EPA

The National Organization for Marriage launched an anti-transgender bus tour outside the UN headquarters in New York City.

Unfortunately for NOM the bus was almost immediately vandalized by activists. Trans rights now! someone wrote over the #freespeechbus. NOM is now asking for donations to remove that particular act of free speech from the bus.

Coming up

National Nurses United has thrown its weight behind Democrats opposition to Neil Gorsuch. Senate hearings on Gorsuchs nomination to the supreme court have been taking place all week, with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer vowing to filibuster Gorsuchs confirmation.

NNU described Gorsuch as a man driven by ideology and accused the judge of having been consistently dismissive of Americans rights to meaningful equality and workplace justice.

On Thursday the Guardian reported that Gorsuch had been the only judge to rule in favor of a delivery company that fired an employee for seeking warmth after his truck broke down on a dangerously cold winter night.

Neil
Neil Gorsuch has faced a grilling this week. Photograph: Jack Gruber/ddp/Barcroft

On Tuesday a coalition of progressive groups including Indivisible, MoveOn.org Civic Action and the SEIU launched a digital ad campaign urging Democratic senators to filibuster Gorsuchs nomination.

Madison County Democrats are holding a Ready to run event in Huntsville, Alabama, on Saturday. Its specifically aimed at getting women into office the classes are actually women only and apparently will cover how to register an election bid and launch a campaign.

Similar training is planned in New York City in early April. More events are listed on Michael Moores Resistance Calendar.

Pro-Trump Make America Great Again marches are due to take place in 41 states across the country on Saturday.

It is about time we stand up for America, says the organizers website. Counter-rallies are planned in Boston, Houston and Huntington Beach in California.

Similar pro-Trump events took place on 4 March. The one in New York City was rather underwhelming.

What were reading

This stunning Trump interview with Time magazine. Time published a transcript of the interview, and it makes for macabre reading. Jezebel, in a fine act of public service, redacted everything thats not a verifiably true statement from the exchange. Its good.

Picture of the week

Juliet Lapidos (@julietlapidos)

Was there another meeting for women? https://t.co/rKjDYkMraE

March 23, 2017

Meme of the week

He doesnt help himself, does he?

Devan Coggan (@devancoggan)

pic.twitter.com/g6DsMs7NmF

March 23, 2017

tc (@chillmage)

Fast & Furious 9 (2019) pic.twitter.com/o3JFal4bYc

March 23, 2017

Benjamin Eagles (@BigBenEagles)

Today @realDonaldTrump gets to drive like a big boy. #DonaldTrump #Truck #MAGA pic.twitter.com/rzgNiNoXwp

March 23, 2017

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Read more: www.theguardian.com

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