What to Read: “Anyone offended by the sight of the suffering is just judging someone who’s having a mental-health episode, and any liberal who argues that the state can and should take control of someone in the throes of drugs and psychosis is basically a Republican. If and when the vulnerable person dies, that was his choice, and in San Francisco we congratulate ourselves on being very accepting of that choice.” Nellie Bowles in The Atlantic: How San Francisco Became A Failed City. A lot of the pressures facing San Francisco are pandemic and opiate related, and therefore face other cities as well. And I worry that we’re all focusing on one city without putting its struggles into a broader perspective. But Bowles is right that wokeness and identity politics have overtaken the city. For years, everyone at Bay Area dinner parties talked about Trump. These days, they talk about the extremity of identity politics. It’s of course a counter to the white supremacy and racism of the Trump era. But it’s not a productive counter.

+ What to Hear: I’ve been digging Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak. Start with “From Austin.”

+ What to Book: The Jan 6 hearings give you a good taste of reality. But there’s another story in America. It’s not true, but it’s powerful. It nearly ruined democracy. And it’s ongoing. No one explains this stuff better than Dan Pfeiffer. Grab his new book now. Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America.