John Kerry – United States Secretary of State



John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election but lost to incumbent George W. Bush … Full Wikipedia profile

How do you define a woman of calibre, Mr Abbott?

It was the calibre word that brought him undone with women – again!
It was the ‘calibre’ word that brought him undone with many women – again!

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Molly Pitcher (1754-1832) a nickname given to a woman said to have fought in the American Battle of Monmouth, who is generally believed to have been Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley.
Looks like a feisty lady whose modern-day contemporary would gladly give Tony Abbott a ramrod between the eyes.

21 August 2013

“We do not educate women to higher degree level to deny them a career. If we want women of that calibre to have families, and we should, well we have to give them a fair dinkum chance to do so. That is what this scheme of paid parental leave is all about.” So uttered Tony Abbott back in May. It was the ‘calibre’ word that made him look like the random offering of a loose cannon. Great balls of fire?

Once again, Tony got himself into hot water with women’s groups and got the inevitable spray from his female Labor opponents. posted a piece entitled Tony Abbott: How do you define a woman of calibre? targeting his poor choice of words.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek asked how exactly a ‘woman of calibre’ is defined. “Who exactly does Mr Abbott think are women of calibre? What does he think about women who are child care workers, nurses and community sector workers?” she asked. “Are they of lower calibre than women who are law firm partners?”

This week, Tony Abbott unveiled his proposed paid parental leave scheme, interestingly in the well-to-do Melbourne suburb of Malvern which forms part of the ultra-safe Liberal seat of Higgins.

On Tuesday, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald simultaneously ran an editorial piece, Coalition’s mating call to ‘women of calibre’ rubbing in the ‘c’ word and questioning how much should be paid and by whom. It declared that the scheme is far too generous particularly for high income earners, and concluded by saying, “for the Coalition to introduce this scheme now, when it rages about the government’s budgetary position being in a ‘national emergency’, is bizarre.”

In today’s Fairfax press, an article headed Hostility rising: Abbott could be left holding the baby, points out that the paid parental leave scheme is regarded as poisonous amongst economists, business, country people and – yes – members of the Coalition: “Nationals MPs are quietly furious, viewing the scheme as unnecessarily generous to city women and particularly to those who need it least …… One federal Liberal said it was the worst bit of public policy since the carbon tax. It seems many of Mr Abbott’s own frontbench are biting their lips, aware their leader has committed himself fully.”

Abbott’s rare zeal for gender equality, albeit amongst his beloved ‘women of calibre’, may even prompt our balls-of-fire man to dedicate this Jerry Lee Lewis anthem to professional women everywhere ~
Great balls of fire on YouTube

Hockey: Abbott says I’m a sexy guy just like George Clooney

Hey Joe, by George there is a certain similarity. But don’t give up your day job!
Hey Joe, by George there is a certain similarity. But don’t give up your day job and please take that smug smirk of your face!

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14 August 2013

On Tuesday, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey laughed off Tony Abbott’s comments, praising the sex appeal Lindsay candidate Fiona Scott, noting that the Opposition Leader had previously compared him with movie star George Clooney.

“Tony says it to me often that I’m a sexy guy. We’ve got a special kind of love going,” he told Channel 10’s The Project.

“In front of my colleagues he said that I look like the parliamentary George Clooney.”

Mr Hockey added that: “As long as it’s not offensive, I think we shouldn’t be afraid to say what we think.”

When a presenter noted it was up to women to decide if the comments were offensive, Mr Hockey replied: “And they will.”

Full coverage from The Age

Young, feisty, sex appeal – great credentials according to ‘exuberant’ Tony

Damned if you, damned if you don’t – poor Tony!
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t – poor Tony!

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14 August 2013 – from The Sydney Morning Herald:

‘Young, feisty and with sex appeal’: Abbott talks up candidate

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has described one of his female candidates as “young, feisty” and having “sex appeal”.

While campaigning in Sydney’s west on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Abbott was asked what Lindsay candidate Fiona Scott had in common with former Coalition MP for Lindsay, Jackie Kelly.

The comments come as the Coalition has worked hard to combat perceptions that Mr Abbott has a “woman problem”. On Tuesday afternoon, the hashtag “sex appeal” was trending on Twitter.

Questions about Mr Abbott’s appeal to women have died down significantly since former prime minister Julia Gillard lost office in July.

Labor frontbencher David Bradbury currently holds the seat on a margin of just 1.1 per cent.

Mr Abbott was at Penrith Stadium with Ms Scott and his daughter Frances on Tuesday to announce $12 million in funding for a community sports centre.

Asked later on Tuesday night whether he regretted the comments, he said ”I was a bit exuberant today”.

SMH article in full with video



Kevin Rudd on the road to the September 7 election

Kevin Rudd 5 August 2013 Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957) is an Australian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Labor Party since 27 June 2013. He was previously Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, and Labor Leader from 2006 to 2010. He is the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since Robert Menzies in 1949, and only the second Labor Prime Minister to do so. Having previously served as a diplomat, and then as an official for the Queensland Government, Rudd was initially elected to the House of Representatives for Griffith at the 1998 election. He was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. In December 2006, he successfully challenged Kim Beazley to become the Leader of the Labor Party, subsequently becoming the Leader of the Opposition. Under Rudd, Labor overtook the incumbent Liberal/National Coalition led by John Howard in the polls, making a number of policy announcements on areas such as industrial relations, health, climate change, an “education revolution”, and a National Broadband Network. Labor won the 2007 election with a 23-seat swing in its favour, and Rudd was sworn in as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia on 3 December. The Rudd Government’s first acts included signing the Kyoto Protocol and delivering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations. The previous government’s industrial relations legislation, WorkChoices, was largely dismantled, Australia’s remaining Iraq War combat personnel were withdrawn, and the “Australia 2020 Summit” was held. In response to the global financial crisis, the government provided economic stimulus packages, and Australia was one of the few developed countries to avoid the late-2000s recession …… Full Wikipedia profile

Anthony Albanese on the road to the September 7 election

Anthony Albanese

5 August 2013

Anthony Norman Albanese (born 2 March 1963) is an Australian politician who is the current Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party. He is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Leader of the House of Representatives. He has represented Grayndler in the Australian House of Representatives since 1996.

Albanese has been described as “Labor’s Parliamentary go-to man, a bloke with willingness and enthusiasm for fronting up – whether at the Dispatch Box, to protesters or even in backing a losing leadership candidate” ……

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Bill Shorten on the road to the September 7 election

Bill Shorten

5 August 2013

William Richard “Bill” Shorten (born 12 May 1967) is an Australian politician who is currently the Minister for Education and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. He was first elected to the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Maribyrnong in 2007. He was previously the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation and the Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union. He is regarded as a leader of the right-wing Labor Unity faction ……

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Tony Burke on the road to the September 7 election

Tony Burke

5 August 2013

Anthony Stephen ‘Tony’ Burke (born 4 November 1969) is an Australian politician representing the Labor Party, and the current Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, the Minister for the Arts, and the Vice-President of the Executive Council in the Second Rudd Ministry. Burke first entered public office in 2003 as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. In October 2004 Burke moved from state to federal parliament on being elected to the federal seat of Watson, New South Wales ……

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Bob Carr on the road to the September 7 election

Bob Carr

5 August 2013

Robert John “Bob” Carr (born 28 September 1947) is an Australian Senator who has served in the government of Australia as Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2012 following the resignation of Kevin Rudd. Carr, a Senator for New South Wales, is a member of the Labor Party and previously served as Premier of New South Wales from 4 April 1995 to 3 August 2005. He holds the record for the longest continuous service as Premier of NSW. Only Sir Henry Parkes served longer, although Parkes held the office on five separate occasions ……

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