I've avoided talking about the debt ceiling debates for as long as the people on the Hill have avoided doing anything about the debt ceiling itself. Also, it's hard to make financial ratings, credit defaults, and inadequate remedies sound like popular culture—unless, I guess, we're talking about how the mortgage crisis took over the news media for a solid two months in 2008. But hey, there are now signs of progress and more interestingly, those signs point to an impending doomsday for the Republicans, and not just in the 2012 election. So good for you debt ceiling! You made the cut for this series.