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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Susan Rice investments

Susan Rice’s Enrichment Program
U.N. ambassador has investments in companies doing business with Iran, disclosure forms show
AP
AP
BY:


The portfolio of embattled United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice includes investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in several energy companies known for doing business with Iran, according to financial disclosure forms.
Rice, a possible nominee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down, has come under criticism for promulgating erroneous information about the September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.
Rice has the highest net worth of executive branch members, with a fortune estimated between $24 to $44 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A Free Beacon analysis of Rice’s portfolio shows thousands of dollars invested in at least three separate companies cited by lawmakers on Capitol Hill for doing business in Iran’s oil and gas sector.
The revelation of these investments could pose a problem for Rice if she is tapped by President Barack Obama to replace Clinton. Among the responsibilities of the next secretary of state will be a showdown with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.
“That Susan Rice invested in companies doing business in Iran shows either the Obama administration’s lack of seriousness regarding Iran or Rice’s own immorality,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “Either way, her actions undercut her ability to demand our allies unity on Iran.”
The companies in question appear to have conducted business with Tehran well after Western governments began to urge divestment from the rogue nation, which has continued to enrich uranium near levels needed to build a nuclear bomb.
Financial disclosures reveal that Rice has had $50,001-$100,000 in Royal Dutch Shell, a longtime purchaser of Iranian crude oil.
Royal Dutch Shell currently owes Iran nearly $1 billion in back payments for crude oil that it purchased before Western economic sanctions crippled Tehran’s ability to process oil payments, Reuters reported.
“A debt of that size would equate to roughly four large tanker loads of Iranian crude or about 8 million barrels,” according to the report.
Rice has additional investments in Norsk Hydro ASA, a Norwegian aluminum firm, and BHP Billiton PLC, an Australian-based natural resources company, financial disclosure show.
Norway’s Norsk Hydro was awarded in 2006 a $107 million exploration and development contract for Iran’s Khorramabad oil block, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rice’s portfolio includes an investment of up to $15,000 in the company.
Norsk acknowledged at the time that it was working in Iran against the wishes of the U.S. government.
America is “not happy that we’re there,” Norsk Hydro spokeswoman Kama Holte Strand told the Journal at the time. Holte admitted that the company was working with Tehran because it is “profitable.”
Rice has up to $50,000 invested with another Iranian partner, BHP Billiton, which was probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010 for its dealings with Cuba and Iran, according to reports.
The company, which had leased office space in Tehran, admitted to making more than $360 million from the Iranians, according to The Australian.
BHP Billiton sought to build a natural gas pipeline between 2002 and 2005 in conjunction with the National Iranian Oil Company, according the report. The company’s subsidiaries additionally “sold alumina, coking coal, manganese, and copper to state-owned Iranian companies.”
The House of Representatives passed a bill in 2007 that took aim at these companies and other that had done business with Iran. The bill enabled state and local governments to divest from these companies due to their dealings with Iran.
Then-senator Obama proposed and supported a similar bill at the time.
It is unclear how White House press secretary Jay Carney will respond to the latest revelations about Rice. Previous questions from the media about Rice’s investment in the company building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline were dismissed by Carney as information from “Republican opposition researchers.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Barry is good for some commerce

Overwhelming demand crashes FBI background check center
Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
November 27, 2012
Black Friday gun sales hit an all time record high last week with demand for new firearms so overwhelming that it caused outages at the FBI background check center on two separate occasions.
Fueled by fears that the Obama administration will go after gun rights during a lame duck term, the FBI reported 154,873 background check requests on Friday – a 20 per cent increase on last year’s record total of 129,166 checks.
The number of guns sold could actually be double or more that figure because only one background check is recorded per sale even if buyers purchase multiple firearms.
“With the recent election, some people are making buying decisions just in case something (new law) happens,” Don Gallardo, manager of Shooter’s World in Phoenix, told USA Today.
Gun stores noted that first time gun owners and women represented a significant number of those purchasing firearms on Black Friday.
Gun sales were so brisk that the FBI’s Instant Background Check center was overwhelmed with the volume of requests and crashed on two separate occasions. Some even saw the outages as an insidious way of providing “anti-gunners a clue about how to suspend the Second Amendment.”
President Obama indicated during the presidential debates that he would pursue an assault weapons ban, which second amendment activists see as merely the first step towards wider gun control regulation.
Obama also indicated that he would attempt to eviscerate the right to keep and bear arms during a White House meeting with gun control advocate Sarah Brady last year. During the meeting, Obama told Brady he was working “under the radar” on new gun control policy. Brady added that Obama assured her gun control was “very much on his agenda.”
But it’s not just Obama’s conduct on the domestic front that has second amendment activists concerned. The Obama administration’s willingness to sign up to a United Nations global arms treaty which threatens to outlaw guns in the U.S. is also driving firearms sales.
Final discussions on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are set to take place in March next year. The New American notes that, “Section III, Paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Programme of Action mandate that if a member state cannot get rid of privately owned small arms legislatively, then the control of “customs, police, intelligence, and arms control” will be placed under the power of a board of UN bureaucrats operating out of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs,” opening the door to UN peacekeeping forces to disarm American citizens.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fair share of taxes

Examiner Editorial: If top 5% paid 40% of taxes, what is their 'fair' share?

November 22, 2012 | 8:00 pm
701Comments
Photo - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures as he speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, following their meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the economy and the deficit.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures as he speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, following their meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the economy and the deficit. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Riding a wave of confidence after his re-election victory, President Obama is eager to collect scalps from the class war he appears to have won. Americans, Obama said in his postelection news conference earlier this month, "want to make sure that middle-class folks aren't bearing the entire burden and sacrifice when it comes to some of these big challenges. They expect that folks at the top are doing their fair share as well." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., echoed this point in a fundraising pitch sent out on Monday: "Voters sent a clear message to Republicans in the election: we must stand up for the middle class and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share."
Although Obama and his fellow Democrats repeatedly call on wealthier Americans to pay their "fair share," they never specify what percentage of the nation's tax burden the wealthy would have to bear. As matters stand, the top 1 percent of American households paid 39 percent of income taxes in 2009, according to the most recent data compiled by the Congressional Budget Office, and the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid 64 percent.
But income taxes, taken in isolation, do not tell the whole story, because lower-income Americans do pay payroll taxes. But even taking into account all forms of taxation, the top 1 percent still paid 22 percent of federal taxes while earning just 13.4 percent of household income. The top 5 percent paid 40 percent of all federal taxes, despite earning only 26 percent of all income. No matter how you slice the numbers, it's hard to understand why anyone would think the wealthy aren't already shouldering a burden commensurate with their blessings.
In the next few weeks, Obama will keep repeating this "fair share" language as part of his call to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 per year. He also wants to close additional loopholes and limit deductions to increase their tax burden further. But bear this in mind: On top of whatever new taxes go into effect in the deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, there will be additional new taxes due to Obama's national health care law. These include a 0.9 percent Medicare tax hike for individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and couples earning more than $250,000 as well as a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income.
Moreover, even if Obama gets his way on all of his tax hikes on the wealthy, it still won't make a dent in the $16.3 trillion national debt. Later in his term, once he has blown all of the new revenue with spending increases and goes back to this well for still more revenues, will the media let Obama get away with claiming the wealthy aren't paying their "fair share" once again, without specifying what constitutes fairness?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Carbon Footprint

Shhh, U.S. Leads World In Carbon Emissions Reductions

Technology, market forces credited for reductions

Over the past six years, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other nation in the world.
Efforts to curb so-called man-made climate change had little or nothing to do with it. Government mandated "green" energy didn't cause the reductions. Neither did environmentalist pressure. And the U.S. did not go along with the Kyoto Protocol to radically cut CO2 emissions. Instead, the drop came about through market forces and technological advances, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
Breakthroughs in how natural gas is extracted from underground shale formations were the key factors that led to the reductions, the report said. Natural gas has a low carbon footprint and is widely available in the United States. As a result, entrepreneurs are flocking to extract it from new areas.
"It's good news and good news doesn't get reported as much,” John Griffin, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan, said of the lack of reporting about the CO2 reductions. "The mainstream media doesn't want to report these kinds of things."
Rep. Chuck Moss, R-Birmingham, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said he was unaware of the extent of the fall-off in carbon emissions.
"You know when I found out we've reduced our carbon emissions more than any other country?" Rep. Moss said. "It was when you just told me. So, maybe that says something about how many people even know about it."
Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, a member of the House Energy and Technology Committee, said market forces played a big role in the reductions.
"It's happened because of the move to natural gas along with the slowing economy," Rep. Nesbitt said. "Those are natural causes. Of course the mainstream media wouldn't cover that story. It doesn't fit their narrative."
But the good news might not last for long.
"I'm expecting the worst," Griffin said. "The administration has been looking at more regulation of hydraulic fracking."
Hydraulic fracking, which basically involves shooting water down oil wells or injecting fluids in shale to extract natural gas, has been practiced since 1949, but only recently have more effective methods of extraction been developed.
Rep. Nesbitt said he thinks it's telling that the U.S. environmental movement has turned against hydraulic fracking and started claiming it's an environmental hazard.
"You know about five years ago the environmental groups were supportive of natural gas technology as a cleaner alternative," Rep. Nesbitt said. "All of a sudden when the price of it went down because of the advances in extraction from shale, they're against it.
"I think the reason they turned against it is because they can't control it," Rep. Nesbitt said. "They always want some kind of central control. So what's their real goal? Is it a reduction in carbon emissions, or is it something else?"
Griffin said everyone talks about the U.S. becoming self-sufficient in energy production but their actions aren't always consistent with that idea. Now that there may be a clean, inexpensive way toward self-sufficiency, there's a movement to block it.
"The real question is, to what extent we use our own natural resources or purchase energy from government-owned resources in places like Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait?” Griffin said. "The world uses $84 million worth of oil a day. Should the money we spend on energy go to our own stockholders or to sheiks?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Iron Dome

The Morally Reprehensible ‘Iron Dome’ – Hamas’s Best Friend

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, left, and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak, earlier this year celebrated this mad, mad system known as Iron Dome, which all but guarantees many more years of Hamas terror.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, left, and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak, earlier this year celebrated this mad, mad system known as Iron Dome, which all but guarantees many more years of Hamas terror.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90
A social worker friend of mine used to talk about the ways dysfunctional families adapt and adjust to the craziness of an abnormal family member. Typically, they are so used to making allowances for the neediest family member, that they stop noticing his or her deficiencies. Only a visiting social worker, dropping in unannounced on a home visit, is able to recognize that the fact that Moishe'le is sitting naked under the dinner table eating the scraps his siblings hand him from above the table is crazy.

Israel and the world have become one such a dysfunctional family, with the crazy member being the Gaza Palestinians, most notably the Hamas and its sub groups of various degrees of terrorist and Islamist zeal.

Israel has invented a magnificent tool that allows those truly horrible people to continue fire lengthy cylinders full of explosives at civilian men, women and children, without having to confront too often the fact that those are horrible criminals who should be either dead or in prison. We call it the Iron Dome.

To be perfectly frank, Israel would have been much better off if the Iron Dome had proven to be a flop, like the U.S. made Patriot system, which is notorious for causing as much damage as it attempts to prevent.

The Iron Dome is a great technical device which cuts in half and even better than that the number of terrorist missiles entering Israel. So far it has failed only once, in Kiryat Malachi, this week, resulting in the killing of three civilians. But it has saved countless lives.

Iron Dome is the best terror-containing system known to mankind. The only problem is, containing terrorism is morally corrupt, and a society that dedicates its resources to continuing to live next-door to a community run by terrorists is inherently insane.

Amir Peretz, former defense minister in Ehud Olmert's government, architect of the national fiasco which is also known as the 2006 Second Lebanon War, has had a resurgence in popularity in the past couple of weeks. Not because he's won the primaries to lead his Labor party – he lost; and not because experts have reconsidered his prowess as a military leader and picked up on some hidden competence—the video of him observing the front with capped binoculars has remained viral-huge for half a decade, having made the entire late-night circuit.

[caption id="attachment_89934" align="aligncenter" width="465"]A picture is worth a thousand words: former defense minister Amir Peretz looking through a capped binoculars. The video became a huge hit. A picture is worth a thousand words: former defense minister Amir Peretz looking through a capped binoculars. The video became a huge hit.[/caption]

Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz's claim to fame is that against heavy resistance from the military experts both inside and outside the IDF, he pushed the idea of a defensive rocket system that would shoot down incoming short- and mid-range missiles. He fought, he overcame ridicule and derision, all alone, a mere civilian—one of the few Israeli defense ministers without a prior military career—and he won.

To understand the context of Peretz's achievement: During the Second Lebanon War, more than 4,000 Hezbollah rockets landed in northern Israel, hitting major cities like Haifa and Safed, and killing 44 Israeli civilians. An estimated 250,000 Israelis were relocated, and a million more lived much of their daily lives in bomb shelters.

Along the Gaza border, where Jewish settlements had just been dismantled for the sake of peace, thousands of primitive, home-made Kassam rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel by the Hamas, and another million Israelis were living in bomb shelters there.

In February, 2007, Defense Minister Peretz announced his choice of the Iron Dome as Israel's defensive solution to this short- and mid-range rocket threat. The U.S. paid Rafael, Israel's military industrial giant, upwards of $300 million to make it happen, and it is a marvel of technology. If you had a chance to watch the Iron Dome rockets meeting the oncoming Gaza rockets over the past week or so, it's absolutely astonishing.

Except, here's a true story: Back in mid-June, during the great Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was absolutely the busiest around, and everybody wanted to look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn't made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn't moving. So they contacted their big clients, the serious ones, and asked what gives. And those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some hooligans were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the army would go and kill them.

Like it or not, there is only one solution to the Hamas tyranny of terror in Gaza: they need to be rounded up and killed, and their terrified subjects need to be permitted to pursue their lives with dignity and liberty and happiness.

The state of Israel did just that in 2002, with Operation Defensive Shield, following a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in Netanya, that killed 30 on the Seder night. It took several weeks and enormous resources, and then a lot of follow up procedures. But today the terror infrastructure in the PA is not operational. And the result is a much better life for the civilian population, a touch of prosperity, new construction – and a significant drop in the birth rate, for your information, demographic doomsayers.

This is the only viable solution to the Gaza predicament: round up the bad guys, take them in, take out absolutely every last shred of a firearm, and free up Gaza's civilian population.

In a briefing with an IDF official this week, I asked what's the end goal of the current operation, and the answer was: to bring the rocket attacks down to a reasonable number. It wasn't this officer's fault, it's what the political echelon has been dictating.

This kind of talk, about there being an acceptable level of rocket attacks, a tolerable number of injured and killed Israelis, a manageable number of nights a million Israelis will spend in bomb shelters and cement pipes – it is only made possible by the existence of the Iron Dome.

Because we deploy this wretched thing, the other side can continue to thrive, and young men can continue to pull a paycheck for killing—or trying to kill—Israelis. They rule their brethren and they invite regular IAF destruction on themselves and on their neighbors.

Blame our national hero, the relentless Amir Peretz, the man who made the devil an offer he himself didn't understand.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. Now he's here.
© 2012 JewishPress. All rights reserved.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-morally-reprehensible-iron-dome-hamass-best-friend/2012/11/19/
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Allen West Concedes Congressional Race in Florida

Allen West Concedes Congressional Race in Florida

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thomas Sowell

If Republicans can't expose Democrats' lies, how are they to compete?
The most successful Republican presidential candidate of the past half century -- Ronald Reagan, who was elected and reelected with landslide victories -- bore little resemblance to the moderate candidates that Republican conventional wisdom depicts as the key to victory, even though most of these moderate candidates have in fact gone down to defeat.
One of the biggest differences between Reagan and these latter-day losers was that Reagan paid great attention to explaining his policies and values. He was called "the great communicator," but much more than a gift for words was involved. The issues that defined Reagan's vision were things he had thought about, written about and debated for years before he reached the White House.
Reagan was like a veteran quarterback who comes up to the line of scrimmage, takes a glance at how the other team is deployed against him, and knows automatically what he needs to do. There is not enough time to figure it out from scratch, while waiting for the ball to be snapped. You have to have figured out such things long before the game began, and now just need to execute.
Very few Republican candidates for any office today show any sign of such in-depth preparation on issues. Mitt Romney, for example, inadvertently showed his lack of preparation when he indicated that he was in favor of indexing the minimum wage rate, so that it would rise automatically with inflation.
That sounds fine. But the cold fact is that minimum wage laws create massive unemployment among black teenagers. Conversely, one of the lowest rates of unemployment among black teenagers occurred in the 1940s, when inflation virtually repealed the minimum wage law passed in 1938, since even unskilled labor was paid more in inflated dollars than the minimum wage law required.
Even during the recession year of 1949, black teenage unemployment was a fraction of what it would be in the most prosperous later years, after the minimum wage rate was raised repeatedly to keep pace with inflation. One of the few benefits of inflation is that it can in effect repeal minimum wage laws, which politicians can do directly only by risking their reelection.
Conservative opposition to minimum wage laws is just one of the ways that conservative principles often work out to benefit those with lower incomes, more so than liberal principles that sound so much better as political rhetoric.
It seems unlikely that Governor Romney had time to learn about such things during this year's busy election campaign. He was like a rookie quarterback with just a few seconds to try to figure out the opposing team's complex formations before the ball is snapped.
One of the secrets of Barack Obama's success is his ability to say things that will sound both plausible and inspiring to uninformed people, even when they sound ridiculous to people who know the facts. Apparently he believes the former outnumber the latter, and the election results suggest that he may be right.
Since most of the media will never expose Obama's fallacies and falsehoods, it is all the more important for Republicans to do so themselves. Nor is it necessary for every Republican candidate for every office to become an expert on every controversial issue.
Just as particular issues are farmed out to different committees in Congress, so Republicans can set up committees of outside experts to inform them on particular issues.
For example, a committee on income and poverty could be headed by an expert like Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. This is a subject on which demonstrable falsehoods have become the norm, and one on which devastating refutations in plain English are readily available from a number of sources.
A committee on the counterproductive effects of liberal policies such as minimum wage laws on minorities could be headed by someone like economist Walter Williams. Here too, there are many writings in plain English that could expose the huge harm done to minorities by liberal policies that claim to be helping them.
It is not necessary to explode every single lie put out by liberal Democrats. All that is necessary is to thoroughly discredit a few of their key claims, exposing them as liars.
What is even more necessary is for Republicans themselves to understand the urgent need to do so, for their own sake and -- more important -- for the country's sake.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Venus and the Moon,

Beautiful November day, low 70's this afternoon, Venus and the Moon about 30 minutes before sunrise.
 

Move along, nothing to see here

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Luck! Obama Won Dozens of Cleveland Districts with 100% of the Vote

President Obama must have run a great campaign considering the tremendous numbers he put up in numerous big cities. Over in Philadelphia, he was lucky enough to get 90% percent turnout in some districts with over 99% of the vote.

In Cleveland, in some districts he did even better with an astounding 100% of the vote in dozens of locations. For example, in Cleveland's Fifth Ward, Mr. Obama won districts E, F, and G 1,337 to Mitt Romney's... 0. And in case you're wondering, Gary Johnson received more votes than Mr. Romney.

Well, maybe that's just a fluke. In the Ninth Ward, Mr. Obama won districts D-G with a paltry total of 1,740 to... 3. Hey, at least Romney got .2% of the vote!
1,337-0
Okay, what if we look at an entire Ward? No way this trend continues, right? An entire ward. Why not do the First Ward? Obama won that one 12,857 to... 94. This time Romney got .7% of the vote. He's moving up in the world!

In total, there are 21 districts in Cleveland where Mr. Romney received precisely 0 votes. In 23 districts, he received precisely 1 vote. And naturally, in one of the districts where Obama won 100% of the vote, there was 100% turnout. What a coincidence!

By the way, in case you are thinking that Romney did so poorly because maybe those districts were not very populated: Nope. In those 44 districts, Mr. Obama won 14,686 to 23. That's .16% of the vote for Romney.

But Ohio's not important in the electoral college, right?

Update: Mr. Obama won in St. Lucie County, Florida, which had over 140% voter turnout.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Back-door gun control


UNITED NATIONS | Wed Nov 7, 2012 6:48pm EST

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Hours after U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected, the United States backed a U.N. committee's call on Wednesday to renew debate over a draft international treaty to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade.

U.N. delegates and gun control activists have complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as supporting the pact, a charge Washington denies.

The month-long talks at U.N. headquarters broke off after the United States - along with Russia and other major arms producers - said it had problems with the draft treaty and asked for more time.

But the U.N. General Assembly's disarmament committee moved quickly after Obama's win to approve a resolution calling for a new round of talks March 18-28. It passed with 157 votes in favor, none against and 18 abstentions.

U.N. diplomats said the vote had been expected before Tuesday's U.S. presidential election but was delayed due to Superstorm Sandy, which caused a three-day closure of the United Nations last week.

An official at the U.S. mission said Washington's objectives have not changed.

"We seek a treaty that contributes to international security by fighting illicit arms trafficking and proliferation, protects the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade, and meets the concerns that we have been articulating throughout," the official said.

"We will not accept any treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms," he said.

U.S. officials have acknowledged privately that the treaty under discussion would have no effect on domestic gun sales and ownership because it would apply only to exports.

The main reason the arms trade talks are taking place at all is that the United States - the world's biggest arms trader accounting for more than 40 percent of global conventional arms transfers - reversed U.S. policy on the issue after Obama was first elected and decided in 2009 to support a treaty.

'MONTHS AWAY' FROM DEAL?

Countries that abstained included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Cuba and Iran. China, a major arms producer that has traditionally abstained, voted in favor.

Among the top six arms-exporting nations, Russia cast the only abstention. Britain, France and Germany joined China and the United States in support of the resolution.

The measure now goes to the 193-nation General Assembly for a formal vote. It is expected to pass.

The resolution said countries are "determined to build on the progress made to date towards the adoption of a strong, balanced and effective Arms Trade Treaty."

Jeff Abramson, director of Control Arms, a coalition of advocacy groups, urged states to agree on stringent provisions.

"In Syria, we have seen the death toll rise well over 30,000, with weapons and ammunition pouring in the country for months now," he said. "We need a treaty that will set tough rules to control the arms trade, that will save lives and truly make the world a better place."

Brian Wood of Amnesty International said: "After today's resounding vote, if the larger arms trading countries show real political will in the negotiations, we're only months away from securing a new global deal that has the potential to stop weapons reaching those who seriously abuse human rights."

The treaty would require states to make respecting human rights a criterion for allowing arms exports.

Britain's U.N. mission said on its Twitter feed it hoped that the March negotiations would yield the final text of a treaty. Such a pact would then need to be ratified by the individual signatories before it could enter into force.

The National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S. interest group, strongly opposes the arms treaty and had endorsed Romney.

The United States has denied it sought to delay negotiations for political reasons, saying it had genuine problems with the draft as written.

Communist Party USA Celebrates Obama’s Victory: “We Won!”

Communist Party USA Celebrates Obama’s Victory: “We Won!”