I found the word, “harebrain” used as a verb in passive form in the following paragraph of today’s New York Times’ editorial titled “How not to plan for future”.
The agreement between Congress and the White House to virtually eliminate money for high-speed rail is harebrained. France, China, Brazil, even Russia, understand that high-speed rail is central to future development. Not Washington.
As I was totally unfamiliar with the word harebrain, I checked online dictionaries, and found the following list of the synonyms of this word in Define.com dictionary:
birdbrain, crackbrain, crank, cuckoo, ding-a-ling, featherbrain, featherhead, flibbertigibbet, giddybrain, giddyhead, kook, lunatic, nut, rattlebrain, rattlehead, and so on.
Then here’s my question, what is the exact meaning of “money for high-speed rail is harebrained”? Is harebrain used as a verb in passive form or an adjective in the above text? Is it common to use this word, which I thought to be a noun, in this way?
Incidentally, we have a phrase “a person with the brain in a match box size” as a Japanese counterpart to “harebrain,” which was actually applied to one of our former Prime ministers.