On "World News Tonight" ABC reported that the Administration claims that S&P has made a major miscalculation and may be able to rebut the numerical arguments that would be published with a downgrade. So just maybe it can be sidestepped. This would be the first such downgrade in US history (even to be taught to high school history classes).
MSNBC and CNN have yet to carry this story (as of 6:50 PM Friday).
Update: later Friday
The downgrade to AA+ has taken place. S&P says the calculation error would not affect the result. The effect on bond prices is not yet clear. Here are Ali Velshi and Anderson Cooper:
On Yahoo!, Daniel Gross writes, "Is US Credit Rating a Victim of GOP Sabotage?" here.