Thursday, June 11, 2020


NBC scored big with their live production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC and THE WIZ, FOX with GREASE. Other notables? THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, RENT, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE!, A CHRISTMAS STORY and the hideous PETER PAN LIVE! Most of the efforts were based on stage productions (THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW started as a film, the GREASE production owed more to the film than the original Broadway production).

HAIR and BYE-BYE BIRDIE were planned but then cancelled.

In this group post, we are all picking a play or movie that we think would make a good live TV production.


I love the movie and think it would be a great live musical on TV. 

I grew up loving that movie.  I'm not a Julie Andrews fan.  I don't dislike her but she's just not someone that I say, "I've got to see ____ because she's in it."

I grew up on MARY POPPINS, but the soundtrack, not the movie.  The movie bored me.  The soundtrack moved much quicker.  And my brothers also wanted the TV so they'd talk up the CD and tell me to go listen to that.  I never saw THE SOUND OF MUSIC or 10 or most of her films.

But I saw THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE over and over growing up. 

Miss Dorothy?  Mary Tyler Moore played her.  I think that was my first crush when I was a kid.  :D  Don't laugh too hard, my older brother had a crush on Vanna White and told everyone, when he was five, that he was going to marry Vanna someday.  (I have three older brothers.  I'll be nice and not say which one.)

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020.  More on the US plane that crashed in Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr returns to an old cry, the US and Iraqi representatives begin meetings today to outline future steps, and much more.

THE WYOMING TRIBUNE EAGLE notes, "A Wyoming Air National Guard member and three others were injured after a cargo plane crashed in Iraq."  Yesterday's snapshot noted the US cargo plane crash in Iraq that left at least four on board injured:

A US military transport plan has crashed in Baghdad leaving at least four service members injured.  The US military says the plane "overshot the runway" while the Iraqi Revolutionary Group states it shot the plane down.

Of the four injured, Stephen Losey (AIR FORCE TIMES) notes, "The service members’ injuries were not life-threatening, and they are being treated at the base’s medical facility, according to a release by Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve."  THE DRIVE adds, "The C-130H, which is assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait, crashed at Taji, which is situated approximately 17 miles north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, at around 10:10 PM local time."

Of the wounded from Wyoming, AP notes:
 The Wyoming Guard member’s condition wasn’t available but wasn’t life-threatening, Wyoming Military Department spokesman Rusty Ridley said Tuesday.
Three of the four hurt were released after treatment, Ridley added.
Though crewed by the Wyoming Air National Guard, the plane wasn’t among the Guard’s C-130s. U.S. military officials said they didn’t suspect hostile activity but were investigating. 

Spanish troops are planning to withdraw from a strategic Iraqi military base in southeast of Baghdad at the end of this summer, according to the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

In an official statement sent to Rudaw on early Wednesday, the US-led coalition announced the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Besmaya Range Complex, a military base in southeastern Baghdad province that is under the control of the US-led coalition.

“In the late summer, Spanish troops will be withdrawn from the Besmaya Range Complex, Iraq. The base is one of the Building Partner Capacity centers run by the US-led international anti-ISIS Coalition,” the statement reads.

Iraqis have called for the US to leave their country.  One who has long made that call is Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.  THE NEW ARAB notes he has renewed his call:

Prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on the US to remove its "occupying forces" from the country, just hours after four American soldiers were injured in an attack on a military base in Baghdad.
The Shia Muslim cleric demanded Washington "withdraw its occupying forces from all countries, especially Iraq, in a manner the preserves peoples’ prestige and dignity".
"I think it's necessary for America to change its hostile and arrogant approach with its people first and the people of the world, second," Sadr said in a statement, addressing recent anti-racism protests in the US.

Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) insists, "But more importantly, Sadr is a major political player in Iraq, and the Iraqi parliament wants the US out of the country. Pushing this position is an obvious position to take, and one that makes clear that a violent US reaction would be unwelcome."


Moqtada is not "a major political player."  He was.  In 2012, he was rebuilding his brand.  By 2016, he was a very important player.  But he lost that power by a series of idiotic and stupid moves.  Originally, he supported the protests in the fall of 2019.  Then he withdrew his support in January, then he returned it maybe, then he withdrew it again, then he insisted that men and women should not protest together and then . . .

Iraq has a young population.  They are laughing at him.  They mocked him in the protests after his call for men and women to protest separately.  He has not been able to come back from that moment so far.  He might at some point, but right now he remains a joke.  He had supporters, now he has a small cult.

No one listened to him before on his call for the US to withdraw.  I doubt he expects the US to listen now.  But he does see it as a cry that got him attention and support so that might be why he's making it now.

Yesterday's snapshot included this:

Mustafa Habib notes another political twist:

Wild move, Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi appoints judge Raed Jouhi as the director of the his office, Jouhi became known as he issued judicial warrant to arrest Muqtada Sadr in 2003 for the murder of Majid al-Khoei, & he the first judge who investigate with Saddam Hussein after his arrest

Moqtada has regularly and repeatedly fled to Iran since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.  During the years Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House, the fleeing was so he could avoid arrest.  Now the person responsible for issuing that arrest warrant is part of the prime minister's office?  That's got to worry Moqtada.

And the terrorism of gay men and men suspected of being gay is something he got away with in Nouri al-Maliki's second term but it's not something the young people of Iraq are embracing.  Human Rights Watch's Belkis Willie notes:

An important report from
documenting the most recent wave of attacks against LGBT people in #Iraq, particularly by Moqtada al-Sadr, that according to the org has led to the killings of six young LGBT+ members since May 17

In Baghdad, there has been a non-stop barrage of criticism of the US-Iraqi talks beginning today.
The criticism and smear tactics have gone on despite the fact that the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi went out on a limb to clarify matters for the political parties and the public in general.
According to unofficial information, the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue starts Wednesday and will continue Thursday.
The final phases of the preparations for the dialogue were completed with US Ambassador Matthew Toler paying a visit to the new Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Monday, according to informed sources.
Iran’s allies in Iraq are trying to hammer home the idea that the Baghdad-Washington talks are focusing on the status of American forces in the country, while Kadhimi’s team has suggested that economic development will be the top priority.
FOREIGN BRIEF offers, "A major component of the talks today will consider US efforts aimed at diminishing Iran’s influence in Iraq as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign. For Iraqi policymakers, the focus is expected to be the question of whether to request the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq or to seek to keep those troops in country until the Islamic State has been completely defeated and ousted from the country; Iraqis are sharply divided on the issue."

May 7th, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi became the latest prime minister of Iraq.  His is supposed to be a brief term, his main goal being to set up elections.  REUTERS' John Davison Tweets:

Iraq’s newish PM Mustafa Kadhimi is taking press on his first tour since he formed his full govt - to Mosul and its surroundings. Mins of reconstruction, culture and others are also here. #iraq 1/

It’s a whistle-stop tour. Been to Q West air base (recently exited by US troops), Nineveh ops command, Nuri mosque (where ISIS leader Baghdadi declared a caliphate), multi-ethnic and religious Bartella, and shortly an IDP camp and a church 2/

The new PM’s message so far: Mosul and Nineveh like the rest of Iraq need to be restored; Iraq’s strength will be its plurality; Iraq is in this state because of both Saddam and the leadership and governing post-2003. ‘Mismanagement’ is a word he keeps repeating 3/

There’s a lot of hope being placed on Kadhimi’s government by senior officials and Western capitals. He’s being projected by his own office as a strong, non-sectarian leader who can row back foreign influence including Iran and its miltias, especially with US help 4/

But Kadhimi was brought in by the same parties which many Iraqis allege have ruined the country and which have clung onto real power despite mas protests. He does not have his own party. Some see him as just as hamstrung as his predecessor Abdul Mahdi. 5/

So no matter how strong Kadhimi is, it will require a heck of a lot more to change Iraq’s current course. Corruption is so entrenched, and foreign powers continue to compete over influence here. And the parties and militias are still here fighting over reducing resources. 6/

A visit to Mosul is a strong statement 6 years after ISIS took it. But his meetings with sheikhs and leaders and officials reveal a litany of complaints and demands that any government would find it hard to address. 7/

Reuters will soon be publishing a report about why it’s so difficult to get a city like Mosul off the ground, how we got here, and what that means for Iraq. Stay tuned. END

Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has promised change.  He's made a lot of statements about the protesters right to protest, about releasing them from prisons, about investigating the assaults carried out against them . . . Lots of pretty words.  But what's changed?

What's changed now that Mustafa is prime minister?  Apparently, not one damn thing.

ALJAZEERA reports on how corruption is effecting farming in Iraq.

The following sites updated: