Quick Takes

* In the aftermath of the public’s reaction to the video of the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired police superintendent Garry McCarthy and also did this:

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will serve as a senior adviser to a task force to review Chicago police in the wake of the shooting of Laquan McDonald, the Chicago mayor’s office announced.

Patrick is a Chicago native who also served as an assistant attorney general in the civil rights division under President Bill Clinton.

Patrick will advise a five-member panel reviewing police accountability, oversight, and training, the mayor’s office said Monday.

* I frankly get bored with the media’s obsession about every stupid thing Donald Trump says. But even I got hooked by his latest threat to boycott the next CNN debate unless they donate $5 million. Who knows why? But perhaps my tweet explains it.

* Apparently Congress has reached agreement on a five-year highway bill.

Negotiators from both chambers of Congress tasked with hashing out a final deal are set to announce an agreement Tuesday afternoon after a majority of conferees signed off on the package, setting the stage for the mammoth deal to move through the House and Senate this week, ahead of this Friday’s deadline. As expected, the bill also includes a provision to revive the Export-Import Bank, an export-promoting agency that expired last summer amid attacks from conservatives who said it provides corporate welfare and promotes crony capitalism.

* When David Brooks starts off a column with this, you might be tempted to think he’s actually written something interesting:

…the G.O.P. has come to resemble a Soviet dictatorship — a vast majority of Republican politicians can’t publicly say what they know about the truth of climate change because they’re afraid the thought police will knock on their door and drag them off to an AM radio interrogation.

But never mind. That’s as good as it gets.

* Kevin Drum shuts down the rumors with: No, Marco Rubio Has Not “Killed” Obamacare. But wait…there’s more:

Elsewhere, Mitch McConnell is going after the really poor by promising to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Apparently this is making some Republicans nervous, since it means taking away a benefit from their own constituents, but Ol’ Mitch says they shouldn’t worry: Obama will just veto the bill anyway. You’d almost think Congress didn’t have anything useful to do judging by the GOP’s attachment to an endless stream of symbolic legislation. Do these guys really believe that extracting a presidential veto is some kind of historic victory or something?

* Everyone I have ever known who was touched by the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s still gets incensed when Ronald Reagan’s name is mentioned. Richard Lawson brings us a new documentary short by filmmaker Scott Calonico titled “When AIDS Was Funny” that helps explain why. But as Lawson says, “be warned: it will make you angry.”

*Finally, on a MUCH lighter note, here is a video of one of the all-time great pranks.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .