The Race to Find Presidential DNA

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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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2015 Top Baby Names (Girls)

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Baby name trend expert Nameberry* and the efficient record-keeping, lovable government office the U.S. Census* have released a rare preview of the top baby girl names for 2015.

Names based on nouns, adjectives, or poorly crafted adverbs:

1. Birmingham

2. Talbot

3. Roget

4. Coriander

5. Story

6. Peril

7. Bevel

8. South

9. Wildly

10. Sable

 

Male names soon to be appropriated for baby girls:

1. Cooper

2. Alvin

3. Commodore

4. Scott

5. Trevor

6. Lloyd

7. David

8. Carl

9. George

10. Frank

* Nameberry and the U.S. Census did not release these names. Purely a joke.

The New Warrior Rules

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The New Warrior will get a bachelor’s degree.

The New Warrior will get a manicure only on days he interviews.

The New Warrior will aim for a high-end outside sales position in a major metropolitan city.

The New Warrior will represent a product, service, or basket of products and services for a 300-square mile territory.

The New Warrior may have two phones: one for work, one for personal use.

The New Warrior will not wear a Bluetooth device.

The New Warrior will wear fitted business clothes.

The New Warrior will get his hair cut approximately every 35 days by Tina at Rocco’s.

The New Warrior will join multiple loyalty reward programs but consider himself a “points whore” for a minimum of two corporations, one airline, one hotel.

The New Warrior will consider the world small based on the number of friends he has.

The New Warrior will video record his marriage proposal and post it to his social media page.

The New Warrior will arrange to have doves released at his wedding.

The New Warrior must father three children and one must be male.

The New Warrior will instruct his son to trade securities as early as seven years of age.

The New Warrior will get a Masters of Business Administration degree.

The New Warrior will meet a mistress at one of three venues: on the road, at a conference, in his neighborhood.

The New Warrior will divorce his “practice wife” and share custody of their offspring.

The New Warrior will have a series of consorts for a minimum of four years.

The New Warrior will remarry.

The New Warrior will start a new family.

The New Warrior will reach peak earning years still yearning to be someone.

The New Warrior will accept a high-level executive position at the corporate office.

The New Warrior will continue to go into battle until his dying day.

The New Warrior will prepare so fervently everyday for war that he will not have time to miss his families.

The Warrior must be remembered in a celebration of life, his body cast out to sea, a flaming arrow shot by his son—the New Warrior—to ignite the pyre, while the Warrior’s daughters and wives mourn and some rejoice.

Mona’s Kid

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Helen was getting drunk. Saucy, the waiter, poured her another glass of the 2007 Cab and she watched him, first with expectant eyes, then with the slightest guilt; her brow pitched upward thinking: maybe I shouldn’t have another.

            A small legion of Saucy’s cohorts dressed in snug white coats and black pants set the plates on the table. Anders, to Helen’s left, had the sustainable fish plate—seared albacore tuna over a posole broth—and a glass of Sprite. Greg, across from Helen, both hers and Anders’s manager in from St. Louis had the rib eye. It sat in a shallow pool of half bloody au jus staining the bottom of the whipped pile of garlic mashed potatoes next to it. Henry, from Finance, looked down at his vegetarian lasagna and breathed it in. He nodded yes to another glass of the Cab. Oscar, the Compliance Officer, sat next to Henry and finished up his gin gimlet and said “Yes, please,” to another cocktail and a glass of wine. His plate was also the rib eye with the autumn rice pilaf and not the potatoes.

They were in the middle of talking about deep frying turkey for Thanksgiving, which had just past.

“It’s a lot of trouble,” Oscar said. “And pretty dangerous, too. But damn it if wasn’t the best turkey I’ve ever had.”

“We tried it once,” Greg said, “but instead of getting a real turkey fryer, we filled up a metal trash can with oil and heated it from the bottom—over a fire. That sucker got so hot it started glowing! We had to lower the bird into the oil using spears.”

“But it was good, I bet, right?” Oscar said.

“Amazing. Crispy and moist, you know,” Greg said.

Butter and garlic and tannins rose from their table and it was the moment of the early evening when all restaurant managers make the conscious decision to lower the house lights a smidge. Those perceptive to changes in atmosphere notice it immediately. Those on the border of tipsy do, too—like they’ve just been tapped on the shoulder by an unnoticeable spirit.

“See that?” Helen said. “Right when the food comes out, of course. To make it look better.”

“Bon appétit,” Greg said.

Oscar hadn’t seen Henry or Greg in two months. He started to cut into his meat and said to them: “You heard about Mona’s kid, right?”

Henry had just put his first bite into his mouth. He chewed, swallowed. “No. What?”

Greg shook his head no, about to cut into the meat.

“Flew off his dirt bike in California City.” Oscar said. “He’s in a coma.”

“My God, that’s awful.” Greg set his fork and knife down. Henry stopped eating to listen. Anders took his second bite of fish, then a drink of his Sprite.

“How old is the boy?” Greg said.

“13.”

“How’s it look?” Henry said.

Oscar shook his head. He had already put a piece of steak in his mouth and was chewing on it, working it slow, then speeding up to answer Greg. “Not good. Mona’s been off for three weeks. Boy won’t come to. They tried to take him off the respirator but everything started to shut down.”

Saucy came with the sides. Brussel sprouts with roasted garlic and pine nuts, asparagus tips in warm salted rosemary oil, and mashed sweet potatoes. “How we doing folks?” he said.

“Fine.” Anders spoke in mid-chew.

Saucy put his hands together as if in prayer and bowed slightly. “Enjoy.”

Greg stared down at his plate. “That’s horrible. I met him once. Good kid.”

“They should just let him go,” Helen said.

“There’s not much they can do.” Oscar cut another gash into his steak and bent his head down a bit to smell it. “This is a good steak.”

“Fish is great,” Anders said.

“Will you pass the asparagus, Helen?” Oscar said.

“What can we do? For Mona?” Henry said.

“Donate your PTO.” Oscar heaped the asparagus onto his plate. He handed it over to Anders and took a drink of wine. “She needs the time.”

“She used up all her long-term leave when Barry’s mother died in February. That family. I tell you.” Helen sipped her Cab, set the glass down, and patted her chest.

Henry took a drink of his wine. Anders kept his eyes on his plate. He was halfway done with his dinner. Greg shook his head and cut into the meat.

Oscar turned to Helen. “You know, I did notice that. How the lights just went dim.” He cut again, put the slice onto his fork and scooped a heap of rice with it. He chewed and looked up at the chandeliers. They glowed warm though amber-stained glass—the outline of a rose etched in each one with a mauve glaze for the petals.