I've returned from a much needed vacation and to my dismay, and surprise, there is still no deficit reduction deal. This economy is on much too shaky ground to push this standoff any longer. The consequences of default are too profound for the Republicans to force Obama's hand. There will be an election next year and that will be the referendum. If there is a default, voters should blame both parties and that could provide a platform for a serious 3rd party movement. The D's and the R's are much too interested in self-preservation to let that happen. But they might be dumb enough to allow it to happen!