This week:

A razor-sharp analysis in last week’s Forward by Jay Michaelson on the same ol’ traps the Steinhardt’s of the world continue to fall into in, “Memo to Michael Steinhardt: ‘Duh.’”

Jews on First did a great write up of the national, widespread outrage and denunciation of “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week”, which occurred on college campuses this past week.

The polls show a 75% disapproval rating with Congress–even lower than last year. People are not happy with Washington, surprise, surprise! Today was a huge mobilization day against the war! And hmm, there’s been no change on that, right? Nor on healthcare? Or jobs? Or just about most social and economic policies, right? Goes to show the 2008 Presidential elections are really up for grab.

Betrayal indeed–Spitzer is going back on his word, and his “principles” as some comment in the NY Times article linked to here. First, he’s planning on approving the federal Real ID bill, and second, going back on his word that New York immigrants can attain New York State drivers licenses, instead following Real ID protocols and creating two tiers of licenses, one that will limit immigrants’ access to federal travel (i.e. airports). Not a good sign at all and many seemed surprised by Spitzer’s actions. New York should be standing with the handful of states who have repealed the Real ID, due to not only a lack of financial support from the federal government to enact these sweeping identification changes, but also because of the understanding that there are sever implications for enforcing this system of identification which translates into a national ID system–a system that has long been denounced and undesired, not only by the people, but also by most who have ruled in the U.S. government (for example when social security was enacted as policy, the legislators were clear then that they didn’t want a national ID system, and worked to ensure that this wouldn’t be the case).

Beyond the Pale had a great interview with Naomi Klein a few weeks back (Oct 14th) on her new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Klein offers an incisive argument about how in the aftermath of disasters, financial operations (i.e. the World Bank’s of the world) will push through market fundamentalist policies. She outlines how only after a large scale “body blow” to a country are radical changes, such as large scale privatization, deregulation and cuts to social spending (healthcare, labor protections, etc), able to be pushed through, because otherwise people wouldn’t be as complacent to having so many of their rights taken away.