Friday’s Mini-Report

FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Afghanistan: “A fringe Florida preacher may have suspended his Koran-burning, but word reached Afghanistan too late for 24-year-old Muhammed Daoud. He was shot to death during a protest outside a NATO base in western Afghanistan, according to Afghan officials.” Two separate protests became violent, both outside NATO reconstruction bases, and at least 12 people were wounded, three of them critically.”

* New diplomatic idea for Iraq: “The Obama administration is encouraging a major new power-sharing arrangement in Iraq that could retain Nuri Kamal al-Maliki as prime minister but in a coalition that would significantly curb his authority.”

* Salvatore Giunta’s truly extraordinary heroism leads to a well-deserved, hard-earned Medal of Honor. Giunta is the first living recipient of the medal in any war since Vietnam.

* Austan Goolsbee will replace Christian Romer as the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Key detail: because the Senate had already confirmed Goolsbee as a member of the council, he will not need approval to become its chair. (In other words, the dysfunctional embarrassment of the Senate will not leave the CEA without a leader for the next several months.)

* Actually, the Affordable Care Act does “bend the curve,” at least a little.

* Great item from Jay Bookman: “However you want to measure it — the ratio of government employees in the workforce, average income tax rates, total federal revenue — government is not increasing its death grip on the American economy and by many important measures is taking less of a bite than it ever has. In other words, the basic narrative driving today’s conservative anger has no real basis in fact.”

* Charles Krauthammer actually managed to praise the Obama administration for the way its structured the latest round of Middle East peace talks.

* University employees pay more for health care.

* Sam Seder: “It’s not that Beck fans are stupid — it’s that they passionately protest stuff they know nothing about.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.