We’re at a tipping point in Afghanistan, with Congress considering whether to authorize funding for another year. This week at TheNation.com, I wrote about the defining moment in Afghanistan and what the decision in Congress means. Tom Hayden covered the peace forces in Congress, and an amendment by Rep. Jim McGovern that could bring an up or down vote on an exit strategy to the floor. Greg Mitchell reported on the mystery of "the last man to die for a mistake" in Vietnam, surfacing the story of Lt. Bill Nolde’s death, and the lessons it can teach us today. Read Greg’s piece here. And Ann Jones, who has reported several times from Afghanistan, filed an essential guide to counter-insurgency: What it is, is it working and who are we actually fighting in Afghanistan. It’s a must-read to understand this critical moment in America’s longest war. Read it here, and check back over the weekend and next week for more updates. 

Also this week … 

Podcast: The Battle for Healthcare 

Last week USAction’s Jeff Blum stopped by The Nation’s New York office for a spirited conversation about healthcare reform. A major player in the coalition that led the battle for healthcare, Health Care for America NOW, Blum and USAction helped mobilize public support for the bill. But was the final bill a historic measure, or a deeply flawed piece of legislation that doesn’t go far enough? In this conversation with The Nation’s staff, Blum argues that progressives need to embrace Obama’s healthcare reform as a major victory for the social justice movement. Listen to the podcast or embed on your own blog here

Slideshow: The life of Senator Robert Byrd 

The Nation’s 145-year archive captures almost two-thirds of our nation’s history. Senator Robert Byrd has been a fixture in our archives for over fifty years. In this slide show, we look at Byrd’s life, transformation and accomplishments, through the lens of The Nation‘s coverage of his career. See the slideshow here

Video: All Nation Night on MSNBC’s The Ed Show

We were proud to have our Washington, D.C. Editor Chris Hayes guest-hosting MSNBC’s The Ed Show all week. Here is a brief clip of Hayes discussing the Elena Kagan hearings on Monday. On Wednesday Hayes sat down with GritTV’s Laura Flanders and Obamanomics author Tim Carney to discuss the GOP’s continued reluctance to extend unemployment benefits. Watch that segment here.

Interview: Gesturing Towards Redemption  

In this conversation from The Nation on GRIT TV Mondays, Laura Flanders interviews author and Nation Editorial Board member Walter Mosley about his current writing, his thoughts on the death of Robert Byrd and current conditions in the Gulf. Watch here.

The Breakdown: Guns blazing. 

For several years now, the National Rifle Association has racked up judicial victories while gaining the upper hand in the politcal war on gun control. Where did the NRA come from and how did it get so powerful? The Nation‘s Washington DC Editor Christopher Hayes and political science professor Robert Spitzer answer those questions on this week’s edition of The Breakdown podcast. Listen here

– – – – – 

As always thank you for reading. Coming up next week on The Nation on GRIT TV: Christian Parenti on BP and the energy bill; a commentary from me on a new jobs bill; and a conversation about lgbt youth and the juvenile justice system. Comments are welcome below. You can also follow me on Twitter – I’m @KatrinaNation.