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Palin into significance

Looks like things are heating up in the run-up to the US Presidential election.

On Saturday, Sarah Palin intensified the negative attacks begun this weekend on Obama, in which she accused him of being “less than truthful” about his relationship with Bill Ayers, the former member of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground. On Saturday in Carson (Los Angeles County), the Alaska governor said Obama had been “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

Obama’s team, however, aggressively countered the attack, saying McCain is resorting to “Swiftboat” efforts born of desperation and declining polls.

The Democratic campaign released a new 30 second ad calling McCain “erratic in a crisis, out of touch on the economy,” and charging that he has now engaged in “dishonest, dishonorable assaults on Barack Obama.” Full story here.

While the pundits reckon she performed well during the recent televised debate, you’ve really got to call into question the intellect of someone that considers the USA to be a neighboring country of Afghanistan.

Today’s analysis from Simon Tisdall in London suggests things may be leaning towards Obama. Personally, I’m surprised that the race is so neck-and-neck.

“Four weeks before US presidential and congressional elections, a consensus is emerging among analysts in both main parties that 2008’s tipping point was reached last week – and the Republicans were left up in the air with their legs dangling. ”

“Such predictions are necessarily hedged around with numerous “ifs” and “buts”. But daily tracking polls, nationally averaged polls, surveys in the 10 or so “battleground states”, and internal party polling are all now pointing broadly the same way. On these projections, and barring major surprises, the Democrats will sweep the board in congressional races, gaining six to eight Senate seats and a dozen or more in the House of Representatives.”

Roger Moore…the worst James Bond?

According to Sir Roger Moore, he’s 80 now you know, he considers himself to be the worst Bond:

“I’m the worst Bond, according to the internet. Generally hated. I was too funny, too light. Didn’t take it seriously enough.” He seems quite proud of this. “Well, I mean, this is a man who is supposed to be a spy. And yet he turns up in bars and hotels around the world, and everyone says, ‘Ah, Mr Bond, we’ve been expecting you.’ ” Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.

Personally I think he’s being a bit too harsh on himself. Obviously he hasn’t seen George Lazenby in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service!”

Of course, Sean Connery was the best Bond, although I must confess Daniel Craig is giving him a close run for his money. 

So who can remember the best Bond line….?

And yes “I expect you to talk!”

How’s your equity going?

The Reserve Bank Board meets tomorrow to discuss interest rates. The expectation amongs analysts is that they are likely to cut the official rate by as much as .5%, however there is a great deal of speculation that the major banks are only likely to reduce the home loan rate by .25% if at all.

The rationale being that the “costs of borrowing” for the major banks has increased due to the US credit crisis.  This is despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reassuring Australia (and the Banks themselves for that matter) that they had only minimal exposure to the US meltdown and were – in what’s becoming an almost comical catchcry – “fundamentally strong”. 

Meanwhile the housing market continues to falter with home prices floundering in most, if not all, Australian States. The situtation is particularly grim in Western and South Western Sydney where many mortgage-holders find themselves in a situation of negative equity; one where the value of the house has fallen below the original purchase price and original mortgage.

Add to this, the scarcity of available rental properties and increasing rents, and we have a pretty dire outlook for homeowners and those renting or seeking to rent.

So what do you think? Should the Banks be doing more to help home owners? Should the Government be doing more to help first-home buyers, or will this only exacerbate the problem?