“In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is taking a page out of al-Maliki’s playbook. It was Karzai who set the 2014 date for turning over the NATO combat mission completely to the Afghan security forces. In arguing that, as a condition for NATO and U.S. troops remaining after 2014, the troops immediately cease night raids, pull out of villages and withdraw to their bases, Karzai is not merely reacting to recent incidents like the burning of the Quran by American soldiers and the killing of 16 civilians, allegedly by an American soldier, and the collateral damage continually caused by night raids. Rather, Karzai is motivated by the same concerns as al-Maliki. As president of Afghanistan, he wants to control what happens in his country, something the majority of his people want now, rather than in two years,” writes CAP’s Larry Korb. (Politico)

The 2012 elections will be completely ideological about the economy: “[T]his year Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, will run an ideological campaign, calling for smaller government and lower taxes, against an equally ideological President Obama, who wants more government and higher taxes. In this divided red-state/blue-state era, the supporters of each candidate demand no less and will have a clear choice,” writes Victor Davis Hanson. (National Review)

AEI’s Michael Barone: “Americans have been investing more and more in education over the years, led by presidents Democratic and Republican. But it’s become glaringly clear that we’re getting a pretty lousy return on these investments.” (National Review)

AEI’s Jim Pethokoukis responds to President Obama’s take on Paul Ryan’s budget plan. (New York Post)

Brookings’ E.J. Dionne: A kinder mix of religion and politics during Holy Week. (Washington Post)

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s John Berlau: A breather from regulations. (National Review)

Room for Debate asks: How should the U.S. update its currency? By replacing “In God We Trust” with a more inclusive motto? By redesigning bills so the blind can tell them apart? Or by rejecting coins and bills altogether and switching to a digital alternative? (New York Times)