Iowa straw poll a political sideshow

The Ames Straw poll unnecessarily extends the campaign season, artificially influences candidates as their campaigns are in their infancy and has no predictive power whatsoever.

Bianchini: Watch group grinches

Watch groups like W.A.T.C.H. should actually spend less time exiling toys that are "dangerous" and more time on the toys that are creepy. Because, let me tell you, there's got to be a higher chance of a Furby mentally wounding a child than a dart gun physically hurting one.

McElroy: Big 10, watered down

These latest additions to the Big Not-So-10 will surely water down the Hawkeyes competition for years to come, planting two cupcakes frosted with W's on the Hawk's plate.

Buchkina: For season long protection

Receiving a vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu and its complications.

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