Rep. Scott Tipton votes to allow Trump, Trump’s family and senior officials to benefit financially from changes to federal banking rules

Chart from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 3/19/2-18

Western slope Congressional Representative Scott Tipton on March 14 voted against a motion to prohibit President Trump and his family from benefitting personally from a bill currently under consideration by the federal legislature to change federal banking rules.

The motion would have altered a bill Tipton himself introduced, the TAILOR Act (HR 1116), which loosens federal requirements on some banks and credit unions.

The motion, “Bar to Trump Financial Gain,” would have prohibited the tailoring of any banking rules proposed under HR 1116 to financially benefit President Trump, his family members or any of his senior administration officials. White House senior advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are President Trump’s close family members.

Colorado House Rep. Scott Tipton

So far no staff members in Rep. Tipton’s Washington, D.C. office have been able to explain why Rep. Tipton would want to preserve the ability of the Trump family to benefit personally from changes made to federal banking laws. I’ve been unable to get any answer to this question over the last two days. As of the last call, Tipton’s staffer Olivia was going to present the question to Tipton’s “financial aid services person,” Evan Williams, with a request for him to call me back with a response. She thought I might get a call from him within two weeks.

The phone number for Scott Tipton’s D.C. office is (202) 225-4761. If you call and ask this question and manage to get an explanation of Tipton’s thinking behind his vote on this motion, please post the information in the comments section for this article. But we should all definitely ask the question.


City Council chooses to keep mostly Christian prayers at public meetings

“We say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” — City council members bow their heads during Christian prayers at a public meeting at City Hall, September 2, 2015

At their workshop Monday evening, Grand Junction City Council decided mixing religion with government was a good thing to do, and they would continue to do it.

City Manager Greg Caton told council members the City’s invocation policy dates back to 2008, saying they all inherited the practice. Council had an opportunity Monday at their workshop to discontinue prayers at City Council meetings and avoid further controversy over the City’s persistent endorsement of religion, modify the current policy or substitute a moment of silence instead.

But history shows the City of Grand Junction always has a hard time coming into the 21st Century.

Disgraced white supremacist Milo Yiannopoulos plans talk in Grand Junction

Milo Yiannopoulos

People are hyperventilating over a scheduled appearance in Grand Junction by white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at 7:00 p.m. on April 14th at a currently undisclosed location. Some are planning protests, but the best thing to do might be to just yawn and ignore Yiannopoulos entirely.

Yiannopoulos makes his living by staging high-profile talks in which he tries to provoke an incensed reaction from people on the social justice left and delight his disaffected hard right-wing fans. Yiannopoulos is the antithesis of a conservative intellectual voice, though. His arguments rely on insults and are remarkably thin on reason or substance. All he does is say vile, controversial things that target individuals or entire groups of people with nasty comments. Some examples:

His goal is to provoke a strong negative reaction from communities in which he appears, so he can claim left wingers are trying to deny him his right to free speech and portray himself as a victim.

Don’t fall for it. The best thing to do is ignore him.

Get ready, Mesa County Republicans. President Trump wants to take your guns!

President Trump on Wednesday called for seizing guns belonging to people who are deemed to present a danger to others without allowing them due process first.

“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump told a group of lawmakers at a meeting about school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

Vice President Pence then said local law enforcement should have more tools to report potentially dangerous individuals with weapons, and added authorities should “…allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons.” After this, Trump shot back:

“Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court,”

Grand Junction City Council has an opportunity to end divisive religious invocations at public meetings. Let’s hope they do.

The Devil is among the many diverse religious players who are likely to get more chances to say invocations at City Council meetings, unless the invocation is eliminated entirely or the invocation policy is changed changed to a moment of silence instead of prayers.

Grand Junction City Council plans to re-assess the issue of hosting religious invocations at public meetings at their Monday, March 5 workshop.

Grand Junction made history in 2017 as the first city in Colorado host a Satanic invocation at a City Council meeting. News of the event spread across the country, and the story even made it onto Russia Today’s news website, RT.
How could something like this happen?
Under pressure from the City’s secular community to abide by the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state, in 2008 the City of Grand Junction adopted an invocation policy that opened up the invocation to anyone, instead of reserving the opportunity to say it only to representatives of a few selected religious groups. Over the last ten years, the new policy has resulted in the City making history  with invocations given by atheists, Satanists and anarchists.
But the most prominent non-Christian invocation — a Satanic invocation last August, and all the hoopla that surrounded it — TV news cameras, prayer circles at City Hall and Bible-toting people in the audience — seems to have made Council interested in revising their invocation policy.

Trump’s Border Wall Folly

“Believe me,” said Trump. But no, Mexico won’t pay for a wall. Trump is now demanding American taxpayers pay for it.

While still promising Mexico will pay for it, President Trump is now trying to extort $25 billion from U.S. taxpayers to build a “big, beautiful” border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and he’s holding DACA recipients hostage to do it.

It’s clear Trump either doesn’t understand, or is ignoring the nuances of legal and illegal immigration as well as actual statistics about the rates of crime committed by immigrants vs. U.S. citizens, and how most contraband gets into the country illegally.

By far the biggest contributor to violent deaths in the U.S. is not immigrants, but our country’s own violent culture paired with easy access to deadly firearms — a fact President Trump completely ignores in his effort to whip up xenophobic fear among Americans.

The stakes for Trump’s wall are extremely high for American taxpayers in many ways. The first is financial.

How the President’s racism affects the western slope

President Donald Trump spent years spreading the racist lie that President Obama was born in Kenya. He’s publicly described Mexicans as rapists, called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” used the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants and called African countries “shitholes.”

Sad to say, but there are people in our own community who actually believe these things, and worse, and Trump is empowering them to more freely expressing their racism and xenophobia.

How can we deal with it?

In response, Black Lives Matter Grand Junction will put on a workshop February 21 to teach participants how to navigate the flood of racism that seems to be falling downhill from our current political leadership, and infecting our own community. The workshop will teach participants what to say to people when you can’t take it anymore. You’ll learn important rhetoric that will better empower you to use your voice, and reliable ways to argue with relatives, friends, co-workers and strangers. Participants will learn how to work toward conflict resolution and ways to assure both parties leave the debate feeling like they haven’t lost anything.

The workshop is Wednesday, February 21 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 536 Ouray Ave., downtown Grand Junction. See Facebook event here.

City Council endorses protections and path to citizenship for DACA recipients. G.J. citizens react.

On January 17, 2018, the Grand Junction City Council sent an official letter (above) to Senators Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet and House Representative Scott Tipton urging the House and Senate to pass “a clean bill as soon as possible to prevent the end of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] in March.”

Republican and “Deplorable” G.J. City Council member Duncan McArthur voted against the letter supporting young DACA recipients in our community

The letter was signed by Mayor J. Merrick (“Rick”) Taggart. City Council approved it on a 5-2 vote. Councilmembers Duncan McArthur and Barbara Traylor-Smith voted against it.

The dangers of June Fellhauer’s 2018 talk by Caroline Leaf, promoted by District 51

WakeUp Ministries’ promotion of Caroline Leaf’s talk

Local self-styled Christian missionary June Fellhauer is back in 2018 and this time, her unregistered nonprofit Wake Up Ministries sponsored a talk at Two Rivers Convention Center on January 12 by  Dr. Caroline Leaf, another Christian missionary.

Caroline Leaf labels herself a “cognitive neuroscientist.” Her teachings are aimed at helping people “see the link between science and God as a tangible way of controlling their thoughts and emotions.”  Dr. Leaf’s talked are based on her own idea that “the mind controls the brain.” She teaches that thoughts are the sole controller of our physical and mental health, that “toxic thinking is the root cause disease” and that thoughts can change our DNA.

The problem is, most of Leaf’s teachings are debunked by science.