White smoke over Brussels

“Looks like the real thing this time,” tweets Pierre Briançon, who links to UK reaches historic Brexit divorce deal, by Alex Barker, Jim Brunsden and Arthur Beesley of the Financial Times. “White smoke over Brussels,” tweets Lionel Barber.

But is it actually “The end of #Brexit? Brilliant as ever from @fotoole,” tweets Imogen Foulkes. Fintan O’Toole of The Irish Times says that Ireland has just saved the UK from the madness of a hard Brexit. He writes, “By standing firm against their attempts to bully, cajole and blame it, Ireland has shifted Brexit towards a soft outcome. It is now far more likely that Britain will stay in the customs union and the single market. It is also more likely that Brexit will not in fact happen.”

Haroon Siddique, Kevin Rawlinson and Claire Phipps have been covering the story at The Guardian, with continual updates here

Tenacious as hell

“SCOOP by @bridgetbhc w/ assist from me @rollcall,” tweets Lindsey McPherson, of her piece with Bridget Bowman for Roll Call, Arizona’s Trent Franks to Resign Jan. 31. Tweets Manu Raju, “Members of Congress dropping like flies these days - and this is a big name among House conservatives.” CNN’s Chris Cillizza shares Rep. Trent Franks' absolutely bizarre resignation letter.

In The Los Angeles Times, Dylan Farrow asks Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen? “Dylan Farrow wrote a blistering op-ed in the @latimes. Why have we failed her so spectacularly?” tweets Swapna Krishna. “The system worked for Harvey Weinstein for decades. It works for Woody Allen still,” says Gilda Stahl.

Meanwhile, “.@jodikantor and @mega2e, who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, are writing a book,” tweets Maggie Astor, who links to her piece in The New York Times, 2 Times Reporters Will Write Book on Sexual Abuse Scandals. “Fantastic news from two powerful, brilliant, tenacious-as-hell reporters,” says Carolyn Ryan.

And “hell yeah,” as Ashley Feinberg tweets. Ryan Grim of The Intercept reports that MSNBC Reverses Decision To Fire Contributor Sam Seder. Says Harry Cheadle, “This is good but the whole saga shows that MSNBC is wayyyyyyyyyyyy too sensitive to criticism.”

At Slate, William Saletan says Roy Moore’s story is unraveling. And you can always count on The Onion: RNC: ‘We Warned You Gay Marriage Would Be A Slippery Slope Toward Accepting Pedophilia.’ “This is too good,” says Jeffrey Boxer.

Happy Hanukkah...to some

The Hill’s John Bowden has the report as Trump holds first White House Hanukkah party, and Jewish Congressional Democrats were not invited. Katie Rogers tweets, “A festive Hanukkah party, but not for everyone. By @juliehdavis and me,” linking to her piece in The New York Times with Julie Davis, Congressional Democrats Left Out of White House Hanukkah Party. They note, “He also did not invite Reform Jewish leaders who have been critical of him or progressive Jewish activists who have differed with him publicly on policy issues.”

“At what point does smoke become fire?” Isaac Saul is asking in light of the exclusive from CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, Email shows effort to give Trump camp WikiLeaks docs. As Trevor Aaronson tweets, “Email from mystery sender to Trump and Trump Jr. offered decryption key and URL for hacked documents in Sept. 2016.” “Hoo boy,” tweets Eric Geller. “Oh, Fredo,” says Matt Staggs.

Here’s how you know it’s a good story

“You know it's a good story when you ask the subject for comment and his reply is, ‘You're a fucking hack,’” tweets Keegan Hamilton. He’s referring to Aram Roston’s piece in BuzzFeed, Private War: Erik Prince Has His Eye On Afghanistan's Rare Metals. “It is hard to reconcile the insanity of this plan with the banality of a poorly designed slide deck,” tweets Jason Wilson. “Great reporting by @aramroston,” says Mark Mazzetti.

Plot twist!

“MBS bought the $450 million da Vinci. That's why it's called ‘fuck you money,’” tweets Myles Udland, who links to the scoop from Shane Harris, Kelly Crow and Summer Said of The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Identified as Buyer of Record-Breaking Da Vinci. “Is the Saudi crown prince a closet Christian?” asks Tunku Varadarajan. “Plot twist!” tweets Ben Gittleson. “Nothing like buying a $450 million painting right in the middle of your ‘corruption’ crackdown,” says Trevor Timm.

Weekend reads

“What editor or copy editor would not dread having to edit David Foster Wallace,” asks Mike Dang. He links to Derivative Sport: The Journalistic Legacy of David Foster Wallace, by Josh Roiland for Longreads, in which editors and writers discuss the ways David Foster Wallace’s work influenced them and what it was like to work with him.

Julia Alsop advises, “read this excellent critique of streaming services and our bland acceptance of them.” At The Baffler, Liz Pelly discusses The Problem with Muzak. “Music as ‘emotional wallpaper’ wow,” says Alex Laughlin. Tweets Steven Hyden, “This is a great and vital primal scream by @lizpelly.”

Go Behind the Scenes With the World’s Top Feather Detective, courtesy of Chris Sweeney for Audubon Magazine. He tweets, “icymi, a profile of Pepper Trail, the world's top criminal forensic ornithologist.”

And take note: At The Guardian, John Dugdale explains How to collect a Nobel prize for literature.

Friday round-up:

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