Quick Takes

* Coral Davenport notes an interesting development on climate change.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are pressing governments to impose a price tag on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, using economic leverage and technical assistance that institutions like the United Nations cannot muster.

The campaign by two of the largest international lenders comes as world leaders have begun to sign the Paris agreement on climate change, the United Nations accord that is supposed to commit nearly every country to take action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The document opened for signatures on Friday and will remain open for a year.

But the leaders of the World Bank, the I.M.F. and other major global institutions say cutting emissions enough to stave off the worst effects of climate change will not be possible unless all fossil fuel polluters are forced to pay for the carbon dioxide they emit.

* The Washington Post is doing a major series on President Obama’s legacy. The first of five installments focusing on a look at this country’s first African American president is now available and includes some very interesting articles. Of particular interest to me is one by William Wan that includes interviews with other African American “firsts” – like Ruth Simmons, the first black president of an Ivy League university; Robert L. Johnson, the first black billionaire; and Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white school.

* The Department of Justice is launching April 24-30th as the first National Reentry Week.

“Too often, justice-involved individuals who have paid their debt to society confront daunting obstacles to good jobs, decent housing, adequate health care, quality education, and even the right to vote,” said Attorney General Lynch. “National Reentry Week highlights the many ways that the Department of Justice – and the entire Obama Administration – is working to tear down the barriers that stand between returning citizens and a meaningful second chance – leading to brighter futures, stronger communities, and a more just and equal nation for all.”

* This statement by Charles Koch brought to mind President Obama’s frequent use of something that became known as a “death hug.”

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, conservative-cause benefactor Charles Koch acknowledged that, looking at the GOP presidential field as it stands, “it’s possible” that Hillary Clinton could be the best choice in November.

* Do you remember all the conspiracy theories that were launched when President Obama returned the borrowed bust of Winston Churchill to England? The President finally set the record straight on what that was all about (cue more right wing outrage).

But then Mr. Obama went on to explain what had happened to the bust lent by Mr. Blair, the one that critics had accused him of summarily sending back to the British. It was, Mr. Obama said, his decision to return that Churchill to his native land, because he wanted to replace it with a bust of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“There are only so many tables where you can put busts. Otherwise, it starts looking a little cluttered,” the president explained. “And I thought it was appropriate, and I suspect most people here in the United Kingdom might agree, that as the first African-American president, it might be appropriate to have a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King in my office.”

* Maquita Peters tells a wonderful story about what Maurice Ashley, the first African-American and Jamaican-born grandmaster, teaches young people about life via classes on the game of chess.

The absolute most important skill that you learn when you play chess is how to make good decisions. On every single move you have to analyze a situation, process what your opponent is doing and evaluate the best move from amongst all your options.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.