I watched enough of the debates leading up to Iowa to conclude that the Republican candidates for president seem to live on a different planet than the rest of us, one where the only problem this country has is named Obama. Unemployment at 9 percent? Millions of homes foreclosed? The erosion of the middle class? The obscene income gap between the rich and the rest of us? Cut taxes for the wealthy, destroy Social Security and Medicare and make sure health care and financial reforms don’t happen. Problems solved. Meanwhile, in the real world, the long economic slump continues to cause terrible pain for millions of Americans, and none of the right-wing fantasies indulged by the pretenders to the White House offer any hope at all. Am I alone in thinking that the the outrageous sum of $12.5 million spent by the campaigns in Iowa could have been put to better use? Say funding a food bank or two.