5 weeks ahead of the day when the debt ceiling "extend and pretend" plan ends, talks have broken down, and in order to hike Congressional Nielsen ratings, this time seemingly terminally. From Reuters: "U.S. Deficit-reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden have reached an "impasse," House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Thursday, adding that he will not participate in the meeting of the bipartisan group that had been scheduled for later in the day. Cantor, a Republican, said the group has identified trillions of dollars in spending cuts, but had been unable to resolve a disagreement over tax increases Democrats sought. A Senate Democratic aide said the two sides "need to continue talking", and were continuing to talk. But an aide to Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican member of the Biden group, declined to comment on whether the senator would attend Thursday's scheduled meeting."