It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Marilyn Tavenner offered consumers an apology for the problems at the health care.gov website.
While Congress tries to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the Affordable Care Act website, it's got other problems on its mind. Leading the list is the inability of lawmakers to carry out their most fundamental constitutional responsibility: appropriating the money needed to run the government in a timely fashion.
This month's shutdown was only the most recent fallout of the breakdown in appropriations. Some lawmakers say the Republican ban on earmarks nearly three years ago has only made things worse.
When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.
Anybody who bets on the Philadelphia 76ers to win the NBA title has a chance at a serious payoff. Pro basketball started yesterday. Miami is favored to win the championship. Philadelphia, coming off a disastrous last season, is not favored. In Las Vegas, odds against them are 9,999-to-1. Asked how they came up with that figure, odds-makers say it's just the highest number their computers can take.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Intelligence agencies are in the business of gathering information and forecasting where events may be going. In the case of the stream of revelations about U.S. spying, the agencies seem never to have seen it coming; they've often been on the defensive. But some of the latest documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, prompted a strong U.S. response.
Let's get an update now on a story we brought you last month. An Army Captain named Matt Zeller waged a one-man campaign to get an American visa for his Afghan translator. A special program does allocate visas for Iraqis and Afghans who have put their lives in danger helping U.S. forces. In the eyes of some of their countrymen, they are tainted forever by their association with America.
Here's what Zeller's translator said about his situation.
Now let's hear an argument to worry more about the federal deficit.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Yesterday, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told us borrowing is not the nation's No. 1 problem. He'd rather invest in better roads or education.
LARRY SUMMERS: It's just as much a burden on future generations to defer maintenance as it is to pass on debt. It is just as much a burden on future generations to leave them undereducated in global competition as it is to pass on debt.
As he prepared to deploy earlier this year, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the No. 2 commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, found that people seemed to have forgotten about Afghanistan.
"The opinion that he gathered was nobody was interested anymore," explains Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for ISAF Joint Command in Kabul. "[Gen. Milley] came over here with the goal to say, 'Well, let's try and get people interested; let's try to explain to people where we are.' "
And, with that, this past summer ISAF launched a new offensive in the war to inform.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
A family from a village in Pakistan traveled all the way to Capitol Hill this week to tell lawmakers the story of how they lost their grandmother in a deadly attack. She was killed by a U.S. drone strike one year ago. Speaking through an interpreter, her grandchildren's testimony, along with that of her son, marked the first time civilians victimized by drone strikes appeared at a congressional briefing.