Hal Brown

“Presidential candidate Palin”, three years to get used to it

She’s running. You betcha. I heard her come close to saying it outright today. I wasn’t drunk and I assure you I’m not delusional. Gov. Sarah Palin all but announced  her bid for the Republican nomination for 2012. I don’t see why the CNN commentators seemed so befuddled as to her reasons after the announcement unless they’d had one too many martinis at lunch.

Jackson was no freak

Michael Jackson wasn’t a freak. He was "freakish" in the sense that some of his behavior was bizarre, but he wasn’t a freak like any of the famous and not so famous sideshow freaks . They were tragic figures born with grotesque features who were, depending on how you looked at it, exploited by the Barnums of the world or lucky to have a job. Their talent consisted of allowing themselves to be gawked at.

The author of the Obama hammer and sickle over my hometown explains his view

(Updated June 17, 2009)<  The author of a controversial anti-Obama sign in my hometown explains.

There’s a four foot by eight foot sign on the fence of a house on a well traveled street in my hometown of Middleboro, in the blue state of Massachusetts. On it is drawn  a red hammer and sickle and the words "Barack Obama is a Marxist TRAITOR". I took pictures (included here) and called the owner of the home to hear why he put up the sign.

On torture openness, Obama already politicking for 2012

Is Obama a Bush-Cheneyite when it comes to keeping secrets? I don’t think so.  I think Obama is a master multi-tasker who outthinks and out-plans  the typical politician. On his torture disclosure postion some of his supporters have been apoplectic. Not me.
Obama wants eight years. He doesn’t want to spend months campaigning vigorously through 2012 to eek out a 51% victory. He knows that to assure a landslide he needs to win over the mostly southern NRA-NASCAR voters by proving that he’s not an ACLU softie.

Sotomayor, Obama and the illusion of selecting the best

Studies have shown that most of us are convinced that, like the residents of Lake Wobegon, we’re all a little bit above average, if not superior to virtually everyone. In fact, most who hold this belief about themselves are wrong. Even those who realistically assess their own place on the bell curve of wonderfulness fall prey to the illusion (or delusion) that there’s an absolute best choice for our leaders, from presidents to Supreme Court justices.
The bell curve, we’re all on it and in many places depending what we’re measuring, but where?

Cheney’s zombies

 The fright fight of the far right: watching Dick Cheney trying to scare the living crap out of America I was reminded of the classic 1968 black and white George Romero film "Night of the Living Dead". I could visualize flesh eating radical Muslim zombies released into my own neighborhood by clever liberal ACLU lawyers.  I wondered what nightmares we’ll all be having tonight.

They’re coming.

The Henny-Penny psychology of Dick and Liz Cheney

Is there anything more to write about Dick Cheney, the self-proclaimed uber-general on the war on terror whose only combat experience was shooting his friend in the face? I thought not until I read a reference to a comment Liz Cheney, the "acorn that didn’t fall far from the tree offspring", who Slate pointed out owes her very existence to her father’s avoidance of the Vietnam draft * , made about daddy in The Washington Post. 

Obama’s one liners: where government biz and show biz intersect

I get it. I’d like to say I don’t but I do. The talk show pundits on a slow news week are filling time replaying President Obama’s Correspondent’s Dinner jokes and rating his "performance". He’s been getting everything from A pluses to C’s depending on what criteria the pundits use for rating him. This is about as relevant as a best and worst dressed debate comparing the actresses invited to "glam up" the event.

Has journalism disappeared or is it just hiding?

A  very smart friend of mine, Rick McNair, who calls President Obama "WOW" for "walks on water", writes on his blog  that he’d give him a grade of “C” so far.  He laments a "fawning PR blitz by a media that leaves me wondering where and when journalism disappeared? Thankfully, Fox news, Rush and the internet are around to tell the other side of the story from their own biased perspective."