After the failure by both parties to advance their catastrophe-sparing legislation to raise the debt ceiling beyond the House of Representatives, Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters this afternoon that a default on U.S. debt "is not going to happen," and that he's "confident and optimistic" of an "agreement within the very near future," based on his recent telephone conversations with President Obama and Vice President Biden. Speaker Boehner agreed, telling CNN,"In spite of our differences, we're dealing with reasonable, responsible people." HAHA he'll be here all weekend, people!

After all, Boehner was the man who wasted two days packing his debt-ceiling legislation with Tea Party pabulum that barely passed muster in his own party, and died an immediate death in the Senate. House Minority Leader even claimed that Boehner "chose to go to the dark side" by rejecting any real compromise, but everyone knows Boehner wouldn't be caught dead looking as pale as Lord Sidious.

Similarly, Harry Reid's legislation was crushed in a symbolic House vote earlier today, and 43 Republican Senators signed a letter vowing to block Reid's legislation if it even made it to their chamber (it won't), but that's not stopping the Senate from trying: a vote is scheduled for 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. Pelosi and Reid are scheduled to meet with the President tonight to discuss strategy, and presumably sacrifice a goat in the Rose Garden.

So, do you have any favors to call in at the United States Treasury? Maybe you baked someone over there some banana bread once, or fixed a parking ticket or two. In any event, now's the time to collect because in three days, the United States may very well default (actually it will be much "weirder" and potentially way worse then a standard "default") on its debts and the Treasury is gearing up to prioritize who will get government checks and who won't. Will you be one of the lucky few who get to live in that sweet Deep Impact mine with Morgan Freeman and Elijah Wood? Or will you be like the rest of us, swept away by Congress' staggering incompetence and pointless brinkmanship, like Tea Leoni? Either way, it's blockbuster entertainment!

Speaking of entertainment, The West Wing totally called this. In an episode aired in 2004 and written by current MSNBC analyst and politico Lawrence O'Donnell, this whole mess is tied up in a nice bow: