Just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in. There were reports of progress on a Senate budget deal that would avoid a debt default, but then things got ugly again. So far, the markets are holding steady. As the clock ticks down towards default, you can follow along with the AtlanticWire’s liveblog of the all the political action.

+ From MoJo: The debt ceiling explained in 10 short sentences.

+ NY Mag’s Kevin Roose on what happens if we actually, truly default. “I asked … experts to indulge me in a speculative exercise, and give me a medium-case scenario of what could happen on the X Date – not the worst-case scenario, not the best-case scenario, just a reasonably pessimistic imagining of how that day might go, from morning until night. Here’s what they told me might happen.”