I’ve been fairly optimistic about Afghanistan, mainly because coalition casualties have leveled off over the past nine months, but today’s news is not good. I’m always very careful about overreactions, and so I’ll caution that things may look different in a week or two, but maybe not — at least if you read Una Moore’s reaction.

Other links from today and the week:

Bookmark or subscribe to Conor Friedersdorf’s new page at The Atlantic. Smart, sane conservative and a terrific writer to boot. Also new and worth reading: TNR’s The Study.

On health care, wonks should be reading Austin Frakt’s preferred reforms, while everyone should know why ACOs are “the new hotness in medicine.” By the way, there is far, far more at stake for the federal budget in the ACO story than in the basically irrelevant cuts that House Republicans are willing to shut down the government over. Irrelevant to budget deficits, that is; they’re not irrelevant to the people who would be affected by the cuts.

Steve Benen has a good item on DADT dead-enders.

Kevin Drum calls out the Parents Television Council and notes the existence of cable television. In mildly related news, what about these clowns?

A useful update from Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake about GOP primary season presidential debates. The big problem? There may be as many as 10 “candidates” who appear to be running for book sales and a Fox News slot, which may get in the way of the handful of real candidates for president.

Annie Lowrey assesses TARP.

Henry Farrell won the month-that-was, at Alan Greenspan’s expense. Brilliant.

I don’t understand how Adam Serwer also found time to write about Static today (yeah, I’m not even close to cool enough to know anything about it, but it’s always a safe bet to read anything Adam writes). Also, Shani O. Hilton looks at lady superheroes.  Also, a good point about Buffy.

And I’m pretty sure it was meant as an April Fool’s thing, but it seems functional and if everyone who likes good-looking ballplayers spends some time over at baseball-reference, perhaps Sean will keep the AQ Rater.