With no end to the dickering in sight, Oct. 17 seems like a possible deadline for détente in the battle over America’s federal budget. That’s the day the U.S. hits a debt ceiling, which House Speaker Boehner says he won’t let happen. But he’s looking at a deal with his version of the devil – Democrats and moderate Republicans, shutting out the conservatives. So far, it’s just been “conversations about conversations” and no real negotiations. Experts suggest Obama may have the constitutional power to fix this, but that move could prove wildly unpopular. But perhaps no more so than Republicans already are, as they fear the political fallout in the next election if they don’t resolve this crisis, stat.