Saturday, January 31, 2009


Every political family has a black sheep. Remember Roger Clinton? It seems President Obama has an advantage, though. His half-brother got arrested for drug possession—but he did it in Nairobi.


I don't read ScrappleFace that much these days, but maybe I should start again. He certainly nailed this one:
In office less than two weeks, President Barack Obama has already increased tax receipts at the U.S. Treasury with an innovative plan to get tax-dodgers to pay up, in full, immediately.

“The president’s plan is simple but ingenious,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, “He targets wealthy individuals who filed inaccurate tax forms, cheating the government out of tens of thousands of dollars. Then he just nominates them for cabinet positions. They suddenly see the error of their ways, and they cut checks for the full amount owed, plus interest.”

Friday, January 30, 2009

Flinty Chicago Toughness?

As you might remember, I recently agreed with the President that DC's reaction to a little snow and ice was pathetic. Apparently, President Obama was not actually qualified to make that assessment.

I'm disappointed that he isn't resurrecting the Reagan tradition of never being in the Oval Office without a jacket and tie on, but I'm also with Althouse—this removes a LOT of his credibility on climate change.


These aren't terminators, as the article suggests. No, they're the first step towards replicators.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gore Effect Alive and Well

And apparently, it has a range of well over a thousand miles. That's a lot of power for a failed candidate.

(Note: the Gore Effect stems from the apparent reality that whenever Gore travels to a particular city to discuss what used to be known as Global Warming (and is now the more general Climate Change), that city would experience freak cold snaps, horrible blizzards, or dangerous ice storms.)


Just watch. (Very short).

Gitmo Update

Ann Althouse makes a pretty good argument for why she doesn't think Gitmo will be closed within a year.

Where have you heard something like this before?


Is this really Congress's job? Talk about taking the Commerce Clause a little far.

Make sure you read the last sentence, though. It probably won't pass this time around, but if the cell phone companies figure that little bit out, expect their lobbies to get behind it quickly. They're all about monetizing whatever they can.


I've known this for years.

They're Coming...

Consider yourself warned.

See? We agree sometimes...

No question, Obama is dead right on this one. I rode my bike yesterday and had no problems—while the few cars on the road around me padded along at a snail's pace. A few of the drivers looked absolutely terrified. Then I got to class, and an amazing number of people whined about the place being open.

You call that a storm? Pshah.

Bring on the change on this one, Mr. President.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meet the New Middle East Policy

Sounds an awful lot like the old one. Note that Althouse was an Obama supporter.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mafiosos and Democrats

See any similarities? "Never go against the family" indeed. But as far as "what did Caroline do to deserve being dragged through the mud?" She may not deserve being dragged through the mud—but she should know that this is liable to happen when you enter the world of major politics. If she wasn't prepared for that (and she wasn't), then she shouldn't have tossed her hat in the ring.

This is precisely why she would have been a terrible pick for Senator. Mommy and Daddy (or in this case a nebulous "the family") can't help you when the other Senators pick on you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm Confused

Either that, or Nancy Pelosi is. Headline: "Pelosi Defends Stimulus as Bipartisan." Pelosi's defense:
"Because Republicans don't vote for it doesn't mean they didn't have an opportunity to," Pelosi told ABC News' George Stephanapoulos. "The Republicans asked for a couple things... they didn't vote for the final bill but we voted for some of their amendments."
So bipartisanship now means that both parties have the opportunity to support a bill?

I thought it meant that the bill passes with support from both parties. Otherwise isn't every bill bipartisan?

Meet the New... Drugs?

Hope and change, apparently, can sell anything.

Very Interesting

Just read it.

Makes Some Sense

This is probably not a bad direction for Wikipedia to consider. It would have shot the heck out of this past week's episode of 30 Rock, however...

Twisted Marketing

If I were Michelle, I'd be upset, too. Particularly when we consider the other names in the collection:
Other dolls in the TyGirlz Collection include Jammin’ Jenna, Happy Hillary, Precious Paris and Bubbly Britney.
Clearly Jenna Bush/Jameson, Hillary Clinton/Duff, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears. No matter which Jenna and Hilary we're talking about, it's a pretty odd collection to be a part of.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Drugs are Bad

But fighting them is worse.

Um, No.

Boxed wine has never been cool, so it cannot possibly be "cool again."

Like a Bullet

Let's be clear on this—I fully support the development of a high-speed transit system that runs from DC to Boston (though I wouldn't have it travel through Providence). And I think Paolino is right about the following:
The full potential of high-speed train travel will never be realized on a 19th-century rail infrastructure that has been only modestly improved over the years.

To accommodate high-speed rail, many areas of tracks in the Northeast Corridor would have to be widened, straightened or even relocated. If trains are to go faster than 100 mph, there would have to be much greater separation between the trains and any nearby pedestrians or motor vehicles. Bullet trains and slow-moving freight trains may not be able to share the same tracks. New tunnels, trenches or bridges could be needed.
But does he really think the federal government is the way to get it done?

Honestly, if private rail companies had been operating these lines all along (without the government regulations that crippled them in the 50s), is there really any doubt that we'd already have just such a system? In competition with airline shuttles, you think they wouldn't have found investors to fund those improvements with an expectation of profit?

These are simple concepts, people. Competition creates more efficient uses of property and assets than government monopolies. There is more creativity in a company struggling to survive than there is among 536 people in DC.

Privatize Amtrak and you'll have high-speed commuter rail on major lines inside of 10 years. Keep it public and it'll never happen.

I'm With You, John

But, unfortunately, I don't think they're going to let us have it:
I'm a classical liberal. I believe people should have the freedom to do anything that is peaceful. That's truly liberal.

I want the word back.
Maybe they would have in the 90s, when liberal was a dirty word. But now that they've reclaimed it, I think it may be gone forever.

Meet the New Middle East Policy

Greg Sheridan has done my job for me on this one. Yeesh.

Meet the New Environment

Of course when W "politicized" the EPA it was a bad thing.

Ah, Connecticut

My home state.

Which is why I'm incredibly sick of Richard Blumenthal (Attorney General). Why do I bring this up now? Because he's got a new ax to grind.

Look, I'm no fan of sex offenders. And I understand the reasons for requiring registration after their release from prison—their recidivism rate is simply too high to consider prison an effective rehabilitation. That being said, there is no reason that we need to relentlessly harass these people—particularly since many of them were minor offenders who do not fall into the category of serious criminals or truly sick individuals.

And we certainly do not to pursue them through cyberspace.

Blumenthal needs to start reading this blog.

Meet the New Bombs

Even if they're not the same as the old bombs, they're apparently headed for the same places. I'm not sure this one is so out of whack with how he campaigned, but I'm fairly sure it'll jar a good number of his supporters. Especially this guy.

To him (Mr. Corn, that is), I want to say: just because you don't call it a war doesn't mean it's no longer a war. Bombing the leadership of the opposition is definitely an act of war. Though I agree, to a point: let's start calling these bombings acts of liberty, or love, instead. The hippies will like the sound of it, and it has the ring of truthiness to me.

Meet the New Ethics

Apparently our President takes the same view towards ethics as he does to our Constitution: they only apply when convenient. When they're not, the standards evolve.

Redefining Poetry—Downward

Talk about low expectations:
At least one passage in Obama's address stood out that may, upon reflection, resonate through history. In it, Obama challenged Americans to rise to meet a difficult moment. '[T]here is nothing so satisfying to the spirit,' President Obama said, 'so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.' With this line Obama not only reached for poetry, but achieved it. And for anybody who ever faces a difficult challenge, I hope they'll pull inspiration from it.
Now, I'm not as critical of the inaugural speech as Michael Gerson is, but come on. Let's read it again, straight through:
There is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
Aside from the fact that "nothing so satisfying to our spirit" would make for more parallel and better writing, are we really going to pretend that this line will be remembered for decades? Or even suggest that it's even close to that caliber?


Friday, January 23, 2009

Meet the New Boss

A uniter, not a divider?

Not a good way to start. "I won"? Really? He's going to be that obvious, blunt, and, frankly, rude about his mandate?

Peggy Noonan is right:
As for Mr. Obama, some thoughts that start with a hunch. He has the kind of self-confidence that will serve him well or undo him. He has to be careful about what he wants, because he's going to get it, at least at the beginning. He claimed a lot of moderate territory in his Inaugural Address (deepen and expand our alliances, put aside debates on size of government and aim for government that is competent and constructive), but no one is certain, still, what governing philosophy guides him. He would be most unwise to rouse the sleeping giant that is American conservatism.
She suggests taking on the pro-life crowd as one way. I'd suggest comments like:
You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.
I won; I will trump you on that.
represent another way to stir the pot and reunite the currently divided conservatives.

Meet the New Feature

I'm inaugurating a new feature today, which I probably should have done on Wednesday. I'll be tracking everything I see where President Obama adopts or defends a W (or W-esque) policy that seems out of whack with his campaigning and, more often, the rhetoric of his supporters.

Number one on the list (via Instapundit):
The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.
We're calling this feature "Meet the New Boss," as in "same as the old boss."

I'll also try to go back through my old posts and tag appropriate ones—starting with today's earlier post about the President's dealings with the media thus far.

Be Careful with Superlatives

Remember how the Bush administration was the most secretive in history? There may be a new contender.

The problem with being the only party with any power is the media can't criticize anyone else. And if you make a determination that there are some things you'd rather not have public, the media is going to get a little pissy about it.

Maybe we should keep a running tally of the things Bush has been criticized for and Obama finds just a little more necessary than he thought?

But here's my favorite bit:
President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."
How dare the press ask the His High Holy President a substantive question when he's just trying to pal around.

This relationship could get ugly very quickly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So I was watching TV and what should appear but an advertisement for low calorie Ocean Spray beverages. Why am I blogging about this? Because the ad caught my ear. So I went to the website to figure out if I heard it right. Sure enough:
2/3 less calories and sugar. Delicious real fruit juice.
What's the problem?

It should say 2/3 FEWER calories. Fewer is used for quantifiable amounts, less is used for unquantifiable amounts. Fewer calories, less fat.

Fewer brain cells, less grammatical ability.

But seriously, this kind of thing is written by a professional. Someone got paid to write the copy, and it has been endlessly scrutinized. How can they get something like this wrong?

UPDATE: Looking at the blockquote above again, I also realized there should be a comma between "delicious" and "real." DAMNIT!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Abundance of caution my ass. Every first year law student in the country knew this would be necessary. Glad to see the White House Counsel knew it as well.

Oath Update

I agree.

Good Advice

Those of us to the right of Obama, however slight, should pay attention. One, in particular, that I wish someone would teach a lot of my liberal friends, and which I hope my conservative friends now live up to:
DON’T automatically think people who disagree with you are stupid or evil. Some of them are, of course. But most of them aren’t, and you might actually learn something if you listen to them.


Bush's poor defense notwithstanding, it's a shame that the new administration feels a need to take cheap shots. Meet the new boss, yada yada.

I'm A Constitutional Nerd

I love this kind of thing. Even better is this analysis, which, as Professor Volokh points out represents "beautiful theory destroyed by ugly fact."

I will also say that the clearest analysis of what actually happened with the flubbed oath comes from a professor at my own law school, Randy Barnett.

And my girlfriend can vouch for the fact that I immediately jumped on the flawed oath (at no point did Obama actually say what is written in the Constitution, having every time misplaced the word "faithfully") as a constitutional problem. Article II, Section 1 provides that the President take the oath "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office." It would appear to me that, while still President, Barack Obama has no authority to execute that office. And so any action he takes between now and such time as he does the oath properly is challengeable under Article II.

Now, do I think anyone will make an issue out of this? No, of course not. The beauty of a peaceful transfer of power is that we can just sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened.

You know, like we did with Hillary and the Emoluments Clause.

And, finally, let's all chuckle along with Orin Kerr:
The answer to the question, "How many former editors of the Harvard Law Review does it take to administer the Presidential oath properly?" is "More than two."

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Whining Continues

Now news organizations are complaining about how tough it's going to be to cover the coronation spectacle that they've helped create.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cry, Cry Again

Have you ever seen so much whining?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If Anyone Ever Deserved One...

...Mr. Sullenbergercertainly does. Attaboy!

Mommy is Very Proud

Just not of this particular picture.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apple in Court

Don Reisinger thinks that he has the solution to Apple's legal troubles with Psystar: licensing OS X to hardware manufacturers.

Reisinger, of course, concedes that Apple has tried this in the past:
Before I get into why Apple should license Mac OS X to eliminate Psystar and change its strategy, I should mention that Steve Jobs has consistently said licensing Mac OS X is out of the question, since he considers the software a competitive advantage. I should also note that Apple licensed Mac OS while Steve Jobs wasn't at the company and that the licensing strategy almost led to its ruin at that point.
I don't know how many people remember PowerPCs, but they were crap. The reason Apple makes better computers is not just its better operating system, but because of their hardware standards. The reason Apple almost collapsed is because licensing compromised those standards and diluted Apple's good reputation. HP and Dell make cheaper machines, and not just because they don't offer OS X. They are also lower in hardware quality.

And look at Microsoft, who long ago decided to go the licensing route and eschew producing their own hardware. Why would Apple envy Microsoft's current position of rapidly falling market share and constant attack from Google.

Reisinger tries to take this on:
As I mentioned, Steve Jobs believes that licensing Mac OS X would mean that Apple would lose its competitive advantage. I disagree.

Years ago, that sentiment would probably hold true, but today, we're living in a much different environment, and Apple is widely considered the most appealing company in the industry. In other words, more than enough consumers are buying Apple products simply because they're from Apple. What makes anyone think that just because HP and Dell have Mac OS X running on their own machines, suddenly all of Apple's customers will move to competing hardware?
But here he misses the point. Apple is widely considered the most appealing company in the industry for a reason. Their current strategy is increasingly successful as time goes on. Why abandon a successful strategy? Isn't it possible that the OS X exclusivity that Reisinger dismisses so easily is the key to the whole game?

And Apple has initiated another licensing suit, this time against Wired magazine for promoting a violation of the OS X EULA (End User License Agreement, for the uninitiated).

So whatever Reisinger thinks, it appears that Apple is going to stick to its strategy of keeping OS X on Apple-made machines. As a recent switcher to Apple, I'm glad.

Oh, and for added entertainment, the latter suit seems likely to include a multitude of references to... you guessed it! Pirates!
In its article, the Conde Nast division admitted the practice was illegal, requiring the installation of hacked software, linking to well-known torrent site The Pirate Bay, to provide a source for the software.

Hiding Bias?

So I'm less interested in the decision itself than I am in the way the NYT characterizes it on its homepage:
The Supreme Court came to a 5-to-4 decision that will please those who complain about criminals going free on “technicalities.”
Anyone else find that to be dripping with disdain?

More Common Knowledge as News

I think this is one of those things we all know, but somehow need a study to prove it.

It's also evidence of why the Nanny State doesn't work. A few years back, starting with my home state of Connecticut, jurisdiction after jurisdiction passed laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving, but carving out an exception for hands-free. Turns out, when the government attempts to control us for our own good, they often get it wrong. In this case, hands-free laws accomplish exactly nothing.

Of course, this is not an argument that we should now pass laws that ban cell phone usage altogether when driving. It's an argument that people who get into accidents while talking on their cell phones should be held to a higher standard of liability, and then be free to make their own choices—and pay the consequences.

It Doesn't Take A Village

Peter Kirsanow has a piece on The Corner lamenting Republicans who seem embarrassed to be Republicans. I think he's got a point—I'm a Republican who is often embarrassed to be a Republican. But I think Mr. Kirsanow misses an important point about those of us who fall in that category.

Sure, there are the Republicans who don't have the strength of conviction to stand up for what they believe and those who share those beliefs. There are plenty of so-called conservatives who seek either power or the adoration of the masses, and find themselves sucking up to popular opinion and therefore the media. He describes those effective here:
Many Republican politicians seem to begin the day apologizing for being Republicans. And they appear to have a perverse, desperate desire to befriend and seek favor from those who regularly malign conservatives.
But then he starts to stray from the point:
You will not find finer men nor better public servants than Justice Thomas, Ken Starr, John Ashcroft — to name a few. Yet I've witnessed Republicans act as if they're embarrassed to even know of them. Whether it's a momentous slander or a series of invidious slights, too many weak-kneed, hand-wringing Republicans simply tolerate the abuse heaped on these good Americans. No surprise that the caricatures hold sway when those expected to protest remain silent.
Maybe it's because I'm in law school, but I know plenty of conservatives who regularly stick up for Thomas. These same conservatives, myself included, will condemn Ashcroft for actions he has taken that either betray conservative ideals, or at the very least give them a bad name. Starr receives a worse reputation than I think he deserves for similar reasons. He was at the center of an embarrassing moment in recent Republican history. I think Lewis Black said it well:
Everybody in this country wanted Bill Clinton punished on one level or another. Nobody really wanted him impeached, but they wanted him punished. And so they turned to the Republican Party and said "Come on, get the little prick." And so the Republicans took out their rifles, got him in their sights, then turned the rifles around and went BAM!
Ken Starr was the rifle, and so it's hard for Republicans to defend him despite his significant achievements as a public servant and as a legal scholar.

But what Kirsanow misses is that most Republicans aren't embarrassed to be Republicans, or conservatives, but that the Republican Party as a whole has spent the last decade gutting everything that they purported to believe. That's certainly where I find myself.

So Kirsanow says we (Republicans) need to stop allowing other Republicans to be slandered. And he's got a point:
Until Republicans start responding to each and every falsehood with vigor and conviction, the slanders will continue. That's not good for Republicans, conservatives, or the country.
But how do we go about accomplishing this? As I said in the title to this post, it doesn't take a village. More accurately, perhaps, the village will never act collectively to correct this problem.

In the 60s and 70s, Republicans faced a similar quandary. Anyone remember Gerald Ford? And the Party as a whole did not suddenly act to save itself. It took leaders. It took Goldwater and Reagan to stand up for tradition and for small government—to remind the Party what it stands for, has always stood for, and to demand the same from the Party at large.

Only when we have leadership like those men of principle will Republicans again be proud to proclaim their affiliation.

Until then, a lot of us will be looking for an alternative and downplaying our current allegiances.


I've been meaning to get a post up on some of what I've seen in global warming news for a few weeks now, but just haven't had the opportunity. Instead, I point you to Gateway Pundit's excellent round-up of some recent developments.

Say It With Me

"Just electing a black man will go a long way to convincing the rest of the world that America isn't as backwards as they think."

How many times did I hear that as a reason to vote for Obama during the campaign? Plenty.

So I point you to this little tidbit. I wish to remind anyone who believed that of the following: there are people around the world who truly hate us, and will no matter who we elect. These people want nothing but to see us burn. They are our enemies, and they have declared war on us. It's time we stop pretending that we can make them feel better if we're just more tolerant and understanding.

And, for any of you who, as liberals, chuckled when you saw a muslim crowd waving anti-Bush banners, chanting for his death and/or burning him in effigy—I want you to know that I do NOT find this funny. Political philosophies aside, Obama is about to become the President of the United States of America. You don't mess with my mama, and you don't mess with my POTUS.


I was really hoping they'd grant cert on this case. I don't want my DVR hosted anywhere but my house, because when the cable is down I still want to be able to access my DVR content.

I don't really have an opinion on the legal issues, but my sense is that everyone outside LA thinks the appellate court got it right.

Shocked, SHOCKED

You mean a threat to minors was overhyped? For years and years?

I'm completely disillusioned. I never imagined that this could be possible.

Please. Just as public restrooms were never crawling with pedophiles when I was a child and children were not regularly abducted from them, internet chat rooms and message boards were always going to be less populated by them than the media wanted to believe.

And are we supposed to be surprised that teens are propositioning each other online? Could have predicted that, too. Ridiculous that this kind of thing needs to be reported at all, let alone as different from common expectation.

They're Everywhere!

Now pirates are attacking the app store? Man, these guys are ambitious.

Give Them Credit

It's certainly a creative argument.

Awfully Pricey

I'm with Professor Reynolds on this one. I see nothing wrong with trying to save money on food in an economic downturn—but that should likely include not trying to give meals "a little twist."

Beet Salad with Crushed Pistachios & Soft Goat Cheese? Does this sound like a cost-effective vegetable option? Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni and Fresh Ricotta? Why fresh ricotta? Visit the refrigerator aisle in any grocery store and get the other option for a lot cheaper.

And my favorite is the last item. Greek Yogurt with Blood Oranges, Honey & Mint.

When did this country forget how to scrimp and save when necessary?

Now, they don't say how many people they're feeding on this $35 budget. But you need a twist on a spaghetti dinner to save money? Try this—you could serve at least 25 people for $35.

Gitmo: Open for Business

I'm one of those who believes Obama will decide under his own power that closing Gitmo is easier said than done. I think he'll find that deciding what to do with those currently housed there isn't as straightforward as one might hope, for a variety of reasons. And it appears that the AP has recently discovered that not all of those reasons were made up in a conspiracy between Bush, Cheney and Rummy.

A few of those people may actually be enemies of the United States. And they may be combatants. And prosecuting them could require the release of detrimental information. And releasing them might result in having to face them on the battlefield again.

Shocking, I know. But plenty of people just can't see that possibilitylikelihood.


I don't care much about Kristol or Brooks, but I'm encouraged by the alleged host of this alleged party. Let's just hope that Obama picked a policy fight with Will—he might learn a thing or two worth knowing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cute Story

It's nice to know that a man at the top of his profession can still have class.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


If it's written in the New York Times, It's no longer covert!!!

For f*ck's sake:
But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I'm impressed with any liberal who can write a column like this without ever mentioning "Florida," "Palm Beach County," "Al Gore," "George W. Bush," or "2000."

Sigh. Hypocrites make me nuts.

Oh, and in case you think I'm being unfair to Mr. Conason, and perhaps he isn't one who harped on 2000 for years afterwards, well... you stand corrected.

Fiction as Future

I guess I'm not the only one who sees that we're living out the plot of a book. It's gratifying, but also a little terrifying.

Yay Clint

I haven't yet seen Gran Torino, though I'm looking forward to it. Randy Barnett's thoughts certainly have me curious. But the key bit is this:
By the way, when I met Eastwood I asked him if he considered himself a libertarian. He said yes, though he did vote Republican, adding, "but Republicans are supposed to be libertarians, aren't they?"
It's nice to hear someone realize such things, even if the balance of the Republican Party doesn't agree.

Silly Pirates, Cash is for Kids

It's rather amazing to me that these guys are so successful at their day jobs. Although I suppose success would require cashing in as well.

Inaugurating Exaggeration

So apparently the 5 million estimated inauguration attendees has been revised down to more like 1.5 million. Still a lot of people, of course, and I'm sure it'll be an event to remember.

But I'm definitely glad I made the decision to stick around.

And not to try to rent out my apartment.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Technology can be really neat, as long as there are no robots involved.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Have A Question

So we all know that girls travel in packs. And that every pack has an alpha chick and an ugly chick. The former rules the roost and the latter accomplishes two goals—by hanging around prettier girls, she feels prettier, while simultaneously reminding them how pretty they actually are and making them feel as pretty as or even prettier than they are. So the question: does the ugly girl remain static, or does it shift?

That is, as a girl moves through life, does she seek the same role in a new group, or is there some aspiration to be the alpha chick? Does an alpha chick ever become the ugly chick when she goes to college, or does she always find a group that she can dominate that includes at least one girl who's uglier? Is the ugly chick (note that her position as "the ugly chick" in no way implies that she's ugly, just that she's the least attractive of the group) compelled to always be the ugly chick? Does she always find a group of girls prettier than herself?

I'm curious to know how this works. Input appreciated.