FIXING THE ECONOMY. In my Washington Post column, I call on Congress to make the economy work for working people, by addressing issues like inequality, climate change, healthcare and infrastructure. As the debt ceiling debate rages on over the coming weeks, what did the “fiscal cliff” deal accomplish? George Zornick lays out the good and the bad; find out more on why we can be hopeful about extended unemployment insurance and raising rates on top earners—but also about the possibility of harmful austerity measures to come. And take a look at blogs this week from Greg Kaufmann and Bryce Covert on how the deal affects those living in poverty. For more, listen to a Nation Conversation on the winners and losers in Washington’s debt deal featuring Zornick, Covert, Jamelle Bouie and Pat Garofalo.

VAWA & THE GOP. Over the nearly two decades of its existence, the Violence Against Women Act has been renewed without controversy every five years, each time adding new protections to keep it up-to-date. Until now, that is—Republicans of the 112th Congress refused to reauthorize VAWA, in an unprecedented move that leaves rape survivors with few options. Erika Eichelberger has more. And, as Jessica Valenti writes, we desperately need to address America’s rape problem: “It’s time to acknowledge that the rape epidemic in the United States is not just about the crimes themselves, but our own cultural and political willful ignorance.” Read more from Valenti here, and find out what you can do to take action.

CONGRESS & GUN LEGISLATION. “The center of gravity for the debate of gun control is, for once, firmly on the gun control side, and Democrats are working to keep it there,” writes George Zornick in this week’s issue. Democrats in Congress may have introduced gun legislation, but can they overcome the NRA? Without filibuster reform, Democrats would need Republican votes—a possible but not assured outcome. I talk about this and a way forward for a safer America on The Ed Show this week—watch that segment here.

LIVED HISTORY. In 2012 we lost some remarkable individuals, whose commitment to progressive values and communities we honor on The Nation’s Lived History page. I hope you’ll take a look at this post which pays tribute to ten people who died this year. From long-time Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn, to civil rights champions like Elsie Richardson and Robert Carter, to progressive icons like George McGovern, we remember their lives and extraordinary accomplishments.

A NEW COLD WAR? Lastly, I hope you’ll take a look at my online column for  The Washington Post this week on Russia’s adoption ban, or “Dima’s Law,” and how 2012 was a bad year for US-Russian relations. “Dima’s Law” comes on the tails of the United States’ Magnitsky Act—find out more from Vladimir Sobell, Edward Lozansky and Stephen Cohen on why the Magnitsky Act brings us closer to a new cold war.