🇺🇸 Culture-War Crosshairs

Plus, 42 million Americans took to the skies this weekend.

The Flag


Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Yesterday was, of course, Memorial Day, a federal holiday for honoring and mourning military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. We hope you had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and also took a moment to say thank you to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We’ll forever be indebted.

If you traveled to see family and friends, you weren’t alone by the way. According to recently released numbers from AAA, the Memorial Day weekend was projected to be one of the busiest ever, with more than 42 million Americans expected to take to the skies — higher than before the pandemic.

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And finally — you spoke, so we listened. Based on the survey results last week, we are scrapping our Flag Polls for the time being and slightly reorganizing the newsletter, starting with your favorite sections. We may bring Flag Polls back, or test out other sections in the near future. But for now, hopefully, this small tweak is what you were looking for!


Left: A Liberalism That Builds Power David Dayen, American Prospect

Left: Ron DeSantis and the Curse of the Florida Man Charles Mahtesian, Politico

Left: Whistleblower Goes Public, Contradicts Garland Testimony Axelrod, et al., CBS News

Right: Ohio Amendment Is an Attempt To Abolish Parent Rights Spencer Brown, Townhall

Right: Kimberly Gardner's Irredeemable Legacy Jordan Duecker, City Journal

Right: The Left Has Pushed the Envelope Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness


Debt Ceiling Vote, Trump on Texas AG, Another Big Drone Attack

US: Biden says debt ceiling deal ready to move to Congress for vote (Reuters) + President denies making any concessions to avoid 'catastrophic default' (Fox News)

World: Turkey elections 2023: Erdogan wins five more years as Turkey's president (BBC)

US: Trump criticizes Texas Gov. Abbott for silence on impeachment of AG Ken Paxton (The Hill)

US: 3 dead, 5 injured as biker gang shootout erupts in Red River, New Mexico (ABC News)

US: Florida woman allegedly drives drunk onto beach, narrowly misses families: cops (NY Post)

World: Kyiv hit by massive Russian drone attack as city marks its founding (NBC News)

Hollywood: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Dominates Memorial Day Box Office With $118 Million Debut (Variety)


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Culture-War Crosshairs

Target finds itself dealing with some controversy, based on claims the retailer was or is selling some LGBTQ+ items in the children’s section that are designed for transgender people. Following the Bud Light situation, and an ensuing boycott based on their association with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, some say Target could face similar backlash.

Reporting from The Left: Target removing some Pride merchandise after anti-LGBTQ threats against staff Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

Reporting from The Right: Whoopi Goldberg erupts on Target controversy after store moves Pride merchandise: 'Really tired of this' David Rutz & Hanna Panreck, Fox News

From the Flag: We covered what’s going on with Bud Light last month. Now Target saw $9b shaved off its market cap last Thursday due to investors anticipating potential blowback. Target says it has removed some items from shelves in response. Here’s more from both sides.


A New “Target” for the “Anti-Woke” as They Move on From Beer

  • Target erred on the side of caution by making “adjustments” to its Pride merchandise — keeping employees safe in the process.

  • This is part of an alarming trend on the right, in which people are increasingly willing to adopt heavy-handed tactics.

  • Similar to Bud Light, Target has ultimately given in to far-right demands, alienating everyone in the process.

Target puts store safety first — as it must Editorial Board, Star Tribune: "Customer and employee safety must come first. That's why Minnesota-based retailer Target Corp. made the right call this week by moving or removing some of its Pride Month merchandise. The fashion-forward discounter merits praise for its long commitment to the LGBTQ community and the Pride celebrations marking the month of June across the nation. ... Pride-themed items include T-shirts, pet products, rainbow cookie cutters and colorful flip-flops. Store displays typically are given a high-profile location, which not only makes the items easy for customers to find but sends a strong signal about the retailer's inclusive institutional values. Target customers who don't want to buy Pride merchandise don't have to. They're also free to shop elsewhere. Unfortunately, some who object to these displays didn't avail themselves of these commonsense alternatives and instead took out their frustrations on staff or in other alarming ways."

Target's surrender to MAGA rage shows how anti-wokeness really works Greg Sargent, Washington Post Opinion: "Target’s surrender — which came after concerted attacks from MAGA media personalities — points to a bigger story: The anti-woke right is increasingly wielding heavy-handed tactics — including state power and violent threats — to block corporations from making their own decisions about how to adapt to social change. Though the right is losing this battle at large, it is innovating and having some success. It’s unclear which items Target will pull. But right-wing figures had claimed Target was selling 'tuck-friendly' swimwear — as part of its pride month collection — to kids. ... those figures labeled Target CEO Brian Cornell a 'pervert groomer' and even called for Republican attorneys general to investigate him. One Arizona man threatened disruptions at Target stores, warning that LGBTQ people are 'not safe.' ... This is part of a trend. Right-wing activists and Republican politicians have repeatedly sought to make it harder for corporations to embrace liberal social change."

One more opinion piece from the Left: Target is being held hostage by an anti-LGBTQ campaign Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN


Target Is Way Off The Mark Here, and a Message Is Being Sent

  • American moms love to shop at Target, but they must be the ones to tell the retailer how unacceptable this is — loud and clear.

  • One of the designer’s featured in Target’s Pride clothing line insists “Satan loves you” and “Satan respects pronouns.”

  • Per a message posted by the designer on Instagram, Target was made aware of these associations ahead of time.

It's Up to Moms To Crush Target Madeline Osburn, The Federalist: "I’m not happy about or proud of this fact... (but) asking a mom to boycott Target is like asking a squirrel to boycott all pecan trees or asking a heroin addict to boycott all street corners... (yet) if we’ve learned anything over the last three years, throughout the course of Covid lockdowns and school board curriculum battles, if there is one demographic willing to take on the most seemingly insurmountable institutions who prey on children, it’s moms. ... Target has been in the corporate LGBT Pride game for years... (but) this year, they finally pushed conservatives who looked past their massive Pride Month displays for years to the edge when they produced merchandise like children’s 'tuck-friendly' and 'chest binding' bathing suits... They are also selling graphic tees designed by a Satan supporter who called for the eradication of anyone who disagrees with the mutilation of children."

Target Partners w/Satanist Designer for Pride Collection Thomas Williams, Breitbart: "... the mega retailer carries Abprallen’s 'Cure Transphobia' sweatshirt, which bears the message 'Cure transphobia, not trans people.' Abprallen mixes a good deal of satanism with its pro-LGBT activism, asserting on its Instagram page that 'Satan loves you and respects who you are... you deserve to treat yourself with love and respect.' 'LGBT+ people are so often referred to as being a product of Satan or going against God’s will, so fine. We’ll hang with Satan instead,' it declares. 'So, naturally, Satan respects pronouns. He loves all LGBT+ people,' it states. ... Target is fully committed to the gay agenda, and has an entire section of LGBT clothing. On its website, Target boasts of its “longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion... we’ve been on a journey for more than 17 years to build and refine our DE&I strategy,' it says."

One more opinion piece from the Right: Target Knew of Satanist-Inspired Merchandise When It Partnered with LGBT Brand, Designer Claims Abigail Anthony, National Review


The Bud Light Boycott, and Company Stances

Last month, we asked our readers if they planned to avoid purchasing Bud Light products following the Dylan Mulvaney controversy: a majority said yes (57.5%).

Separate polling indicates Americans are largely split on companies taking political stances: 52% say they should not, 48% say they should.

Along party lines, 75% of Democrats feel companies should take a political stance, compared with 40% of Independents, and 18% of Republicans (Gallup).


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Joan of Arc, Experts Explain Naps, Four Days in Absolute Silence

On May 30, 1431, at Rouen in English-controlled Normandy, Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy.

DM: The nine U.S cities where home owners are losing thousdans on their house values

Stylist: Are Naps Good for You? Experts Explain How They Affect Your Sleep

GQ: I Spent Four Days In Absolute Silence and So Should You

Today I Learned that in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, instead of a rush hour, they have what locals call a "rush minute", owing to the fact that the city is not connected to the rest of Canada by road and has a population of roughly 7,000 people who mostly work for the government with similar schedules.