The Race to Find Presidential DNA

dna pic

While Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards unwittingly cast her as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, she quickly responded to InStyle magazine by saying, “I don’t have the DNA for it.”

So what have the leaders in home genetic testing done? Begun a frenzied search for presidential DNA. Geneticists at companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and the National Geographic Genographic Project are racing to identify the specific genetic markers for what it takes to president of the United States of America.

For a high-dollar fee, plus a vial of spit, these companies can deliver a person’s genetic makeup, including racial and ethnic ancestry, whether someone carries the genes for certain diseases, or if they will express such traits as asparagus odor detection, back hair, or unibrow. All of these organizations rely on a robust gene pool to produce a more complete genetic picture for consumers. In short, the more donors, the better the results for all.

To determine whether someone has presidential DNA, the companies have fought tooth and nail for the DNA of former U.S. presidents. Some of these companies are considering exhuming dead presidents to obtain DNA samples and thus enrich the data set.

So far, the National Geographic Genographic Project has successfully collected Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush’s DNA, while AncestryDNA has obtained DNA from George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. 23andMe, often considered the most popular home DNA service, has confirmed receipt of Barack Obama’s DNA, and is planning to acquire a sample from Donald Trump. The White House, however, hasn’t responded to requests.

“Our preliminary tests are revealing a few common denominators,” said Janet Glover, spokeswoman for AncestryDNA. “Presidential DNA is more than likely male, and of northern European decent, either Irish or English. We’re also seeing potential variant markers for addictive behavior.”

National Geographic has announced similar ethnic and racial findings with Bush I and Carter, in addition to sweet taste preference and male hair loss.

While 23andMe has collected Obama’s DNA, they haven’t revealed what it holds, but a person familiar with the sample says, “it’s some pretty gnarly shit.” The company says the control, of course, is our current president. They believe his sample could show unprecedented findings, some that may debunk Oprah’s claim that she doesn’t have the DNA to be president. 23andMe recently said that if the current president ends up not providing a tube of spit, the company will seek samples from the Trump children, citing their willingness to sell any part of themselves.

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For Years I Tried To Read Don Quixote

donq

For years, I tried to read Don Quixote,

Revering the Spaniard writer in me,

Skimming a thin abridged edition,

Sophomoric in World History.

 

Later, greater windmills.

Exotic becomes quixotic.

The bookmark stops.

Again.

 

Dare you go on,

Wannabe pícaro?

 

No. Gracias.

We underdogs

Know the ending anyway,

Some will never get their day.

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Aunt Kathi

Of the Taco: An Open Letter to Taco Bell’s new sauces

taco-bell-spicy-tostada-01 Dear Taco Bell,

There are few places a part-time vegetarian of Hispanic origin can get Mexican-type food quickly. McDonald’s rolled out a chicken wrap in a tortilla, but that, of course, contained meat. Burger King, Wendy’s, and Arby’s? Not a single item that appeals to the brown in me. Now, Carl’s Jr I have to say is pretty clever with their sub-restaurant, the Green Burrito. I appreciate their effort to make a brand around ethnic food in a burger joint, but the words green and burrito just don’t go together. Jack in the Box has tried with their deep fried taco, which will do in a pinch, or if the Padres have a promotion where they’ll give taco coupons if and when they score a run.

What we’re left with is you, Taco Bell, and here in Southern California, Del Taco, which I will get to in a moment. And there’s, well, Chipotle, but everyone knows that’s not Mexican or fast food. You have to walk in, plus, no Mexican food restaurant on this planet serves burritos that huge in to-go bags covered in short stories written by George Saunders and Judd Apatow. They just don’t!

Granted what I’m talking about here is Mexican-style food. Food inspired by Mexico. Beans, rice, tortillas, cheese. If you want real Mexican food, you have to go to Mexico. You can get a fine taco at any number of authentic Mexican food stands in Southern California, but do you have the time? I certainly don’t. I’m on the road, calling on customers, and sadly, sometimes I only have time for a drive-thru. I don’t want to do it, but I have to when I’ve got twenty minutes in between clients.

And so where do I go? Where does a person of Hispanic—and note I said Hispanic—origin go? See, I’m not Mexican, or Columbian, and Costa Rican. I was born right here in the United States to parents whose parents were the real thing. It’s been washed out of me. Not all of it. But most of it. I still need my taco, but I need it fast, and with customer service. Hey, I’m American. Sue me. Oh, and I also try to eat vegetarian as often as possible because the conscious American in me tells me to go easy on the earth and vote with my checkbook. Wouldn’t that be funny, Taco Bell, if you took checks? You take American Express, which I find so deliciously ironic because my tab is usually less than five dollars, likely less than it costs you to process an AmEx charge.

So, anyway, I go to you Taco Bell, to get my ancestral food needs met, and I order a tostada. In my mind, it’s a perfect food. Beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, a swirl of hot sauce, all on a flat crispy bed. Two of them will usually fill me up for a few hours. But what to my sorpresa when I ordered one the other day in between appointments only to find a new creamy red sauce on it! I wasn’t pleased by this, mind you. I was taken aback. Why go and ruin a tradition, Taco Bell? Creamy Sriracha-like hot sauce? That’s Jack in the Box, ese. Come on.

Which leads me to Del Taco. I didn’t want to do it either. I’d avoided it for years being so loyal to “The Bell.” But I had to try it. It was the only thing I could find one day in San Bernardino. I rolled up, found the equivalent (craftily dubbed “The Crunchtada”), and ordered. I parked, opened the tray, and, ay dios mío, what a beauty. A thick shell, coarsely cut lettuce, generous bands of cheese, a substantial layer of refried beans, and a touch, just a touch, of red sauce. It was pretty good, I can’t lie. So good that I’ve been back more than a few times.

That’s right, Taco Bell, I think I’ve converted from the Bell to the Del. And not just because they have a better product, that’s just one of the reasons. The other reason is the name. It’s like Green Burrito. I realized Taco and Bell don’t go together. Del and Taco, however, do. It translates into “of the taco” and that is, in essence, what I’m about. I’m of the taco. I’m not the taco, as I mentioned earlier. I’m simply inspired by the taco. I’m taco-style, and, incidentally, I know where I need to go if I need the real thing.

Very Respectfully,

Taylor García

San Diego CA

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