Filling that news vacuum. In the absence of being fed something more interesting, the stories of politicians behaving badly with their travel allowances continue to dominate the political coverage in the media. It is keeping the journalists happy but the "news" seems to be producing yawns among the audience. The stories did not rate a mention on the most read lists of the News and Fairfax websites this morning.

The chances of a US default. I can't find enough proper markets from which to develop our own Crikey Indicator but the Washington Post is compiling what it calls a Default Dashboard to give a guide to the likelihood of the United States defaulting on its debts.