The other political hostage crisis in Washington: "The government is likely to lose more than $1 billion in airline ticket taxes because lawmakers have left town for a month without resolving a partisan standoff over a bill to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration." The standoff has resulted in a partial shutdown of FAA operations, leaving 4,000 airport safety workers out of work and forcing airport safety inspectors to work without pay. The dispute hinges on Republican legislative proposals designed to make it more difficult for FAA workers to organize into labor unions.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says the National Guard is prepared to respond to unrest among state workers: "Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights." NY Times offers more reporting on Walker's proposals here. Notably, Walker is reportedly refusing even to negotiate with the public employee unions. Though Walker's carefully worded announcement avoided any specific commitments about how guard troops might be used much beyond noting the Wisconsin Governor's concern that "some union leaders will try to incite their members," a look back at the history of the labor movement in the US reveals that this wouldn't be the first time in US history the National Guard has been called upon to respond to labor unrest, and that the results haven't always been pretty. [more inside]