Came over to leave a note about this earlier and saw that you guys are already on it. :)
Something alarming I'm seeing more and more often in the press lately - and Ibbitson does it here - is to first bring up the SPP and then debunk the NAU. This has the effect of conflating the two and even though both are about deep integration, there are distinct differences. SPP is a series of small bureaucratic *economic* shifts that is already going on ; NAU is a rightwing *political* conspiracy theory, which may or may not have credibility, but is not helped by being promulgated primarily by the John Birch Society, LouDobbs, and Phyllis Shlafly, all of whom think this is about race.
Josh whatshisname at Alternet did a somewhat confusing post about both, and in the 400+ comments that followed, only a couple of people realized this was primarily a framing issue and Josh was clearly not one of them!