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The Bock’s Office: What tops the list for 2014?

Each year I compile a top 10 list of the best films of the past 12 months, and each year it feels incomplete because of the near-impossibility of viewing every single movie to determine the hidden gems or deciding if the big releases are worth the hype. Either way, here is my countdown of my selections for the features I was able to watch that had the biggest effect on me.

Jonah Goldberg: The problem with Romney nostalgia

In 2007, when President Obama announced that he was running for president, he did it in Springfield, Illinois, to highlight his supposed connection to Abraham Lincoln. He brought in his biggest fans to cheer him on. When George W. Bush announced in 1999, he did it in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Bush campaign, likewise, brought in a big crowd of supporters. John Kerry announced in Patriot's Point, South Carolina, in 2003, amid a sea of American flags, war veterans and an aircraft carrier in the background.

Mike Littwin: Someone else, please, in 2016

There are many things in life I don't pretend to understand. Accretion discs. Dynamic scoring. Adam Sandler. But I've always had a pretty good handle on politics. For one thing, it's not that complicated. And for another, when I get confused, there's always Nate Silver to straighten me out.

Sen. Bob Rankin’s Under the Dome: Western Colorado students and state government

Joyce Rankin with intro by Rep. Bob Rankin

The First Regular Session of the 70th General Assembly of Colorado convened at 10 a.m. Jan. 7. Per the State Constitution, the Legislature will meet for no more than 120 days, with adjournment sine die occurring on May 6. Since we are already underway, I continue to work on the Joint Budget Committee and begin General Assembly meetings in the house chambers.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet: Making government more efficient, effective and accountable in 2015

Washington is traditionally mired in gridlock and political games. And it’s no secret that despite some victories for Colorado, last Congress was the least productive in modern history. Now, as the new year ushers in a new Congress, there is renewed potential for compromise and collaboration. If Washington can move past the partisanship, there is plenty we can accomplish.

Prather’s Pick: A magical book about friendship

The snowflakes that floated down around me this morning as I did chores were just the right consistency for making a snowman — maybe even a snowman friend like the one in this week’s picture book for children.

Lance Scranton: Broncos' mania deflated

I love watching the Broncos and proudly support one of our favorite Colorado football teams. The prognostication before last weekend’s game was as well-intentioned as the excuses made after the loss to the Colts. The Indianapolis quarterback lived up to his name in a very lucky performance validated by the uninspired play of the Broncos. Clearly and objectively, the Bronco’s performance was slipping weeks before Sunday’s playoff loss, especially on offense.

Stephanie Pearce: The American Dream, Part 2 — examining Common Core

Last week I presented you with the beginnings of a lesson plan on capitalism and socialism. I was concerned that lessons like this are helping move our country farther away from the ideals that I consider “The American Dream.”

Senior Spotlight: Warm winter days

The first of the year is a time when I try to pay my bills and get other business taken care of as early as possible so that I have time to double check what I have done in case I mess up and put the wrong date on the checks or correspondence. Getting used to putting 2015 instead of 2014 has made some days a little more aggravating at times, but I think by the end of the month I should be alright. Until then, I will continue to double check things before I mail them out.

Baxter Black: Harry Johnson

I was reminded of Harry Johnson today. I’d been drivin’ down a long stretch of country road. The snow blowin’ up in the rearview mirror, a thermos of coffee in the seat and the sun warmin’ the cab of the pickup.

From Pipi's Pasture: Flu season on the ranch

With all the colds, flu and other stuff going around right now, my brother, Duane (Osborn), and I have been trying to remember if people talked about a flu season when we were kids growing up on the ranch. We’ve been trying to remember how often we were sick any time of the year.

Over a Cup of Coffee: Mary's taco soup and more

This week I received a recipe for taco soup from Mary Burnett, of Craig. Mary has contributed several recipes to this column, including some zucchini recipes, a recipe for autumn stew and others. I look forward to receiving your recipes, Mary. Thanks!

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Unbroken’ mangled by poor storytelling

If your favorite part of a war movie is anything that doesn’t involve bullets or punches flying, “Unbroken” may not be the movie for you. If the aforementioned is in fact your preference, and this film doesn’t fill your quota, perhaps professional therapy is the way to go.

Mike Littwin: Now that's blasphemy

We can, and do, all agree that the murders in Paris were horrific. But we don't have to agree on Charlie Hebdo.

Janet Sheridan: Celebrating the solstice

Now that Christmas is tucked away in my memory, where its bustle will fade and beauty improve, I find my only regret is paying little attention to the winter solstice on Dec. 21, the day nature turns.