Welcome to Wonkbook, Wonkblog’s morning policy news primer by Puneet Kollipara (@pkollipara). To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism or ideas to Wonkbook at Washpost dot com. To read more by the Wonkblog team, click here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Wonkbook’s Number of the Day: $840 million. That's the GAO's new estimate for how much the initially troubled HealthCare.gov cost the government to build.
Wonkbook’s Chart of the Day: GDP growth is the same that it's always been. That's good news and bad news.
Wonkbook's Top 5 Stories: (1) Reality check on the GDP report; (2) the House GOP's Obama suit — Impeachment Lite?; (3) one day to recess; (4) U.S. response to Ebola; and (5) a bill to tackle campus sexual-assault.
1. Top story: The economy's second quarter growth wasn't as great as it seems
GDP growth is the same as always — that's good news and bad news. "After a miserable start to the year, GDP grew a healthy 4 percent in the second quarter. And even better news is that the start to the year wasn't quite as miserable as we thought: first quarter growth got revised up from -2.9 to -2.1 percent....But the bad news is that this latest upswing isn't one so much as a reversion to the mean....Consumer spending growth hasn't really picked up the past year. Neither has fixed investment, which aside from a polar vortex-induced slump, has been remarkably consistent. The only thing that did change in the second quarter is what changes every quarter: inventory spending. It collapsed in the winter, and came back particularly strong in the spring." Matt O'Brien in The Washington Post.
Reactions: From economists. Sarah Portlock in The Wall Street Journal.
The BEA's warning: Revisions. "The Bureau of Economic Analysis...was far more subdued than the econowonks of Twitter. In the second line of its release it warned everyone that the 4% estimate is highly likely to change....Go back further, and the BEA suggests economic growth is very slow: only 1.8% a year on average between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of this year. Yet very few economists will follow suit after the BEA and give this warning the emphasis it deserves. While economic statistics — and in particular GDP — come with a passel of warnings, asterisks and nuances, the headlines and stories and commentaries tend to pick a story and stick with it." Heidi Moore in The Guardian.
There are other measures that you should look at besides GDP. "The BEA releases a figure called 'real final sales,' and it simply looks at GDP without those swings in inventories. By that measure, GDP only fell at an annual rate of 1 percent (not 2.1 percent) in the first quarter, and grew by 2.3 percent (not 4.0 percent) in the second. Arguably, this is a more stable measure of GDP. There are other ways of tweaking the GDP picture as well. The White House in its analysis of second-quarter GDP emphasizes real private domestic final purchases, which takes out not only inventories but net exports." Danielle Kurtzleben in Vox.
Surprise source of growth: Government spending. "The third quarter of 2012 owed its boost almost entirely to a one-off surge in federal defense spending that was entirely reversed the next quarter. The increase reported today was driven by state and local governments with no reason to expect that the rise will be entirely reversed. The federal government shrank by 0.8%, a decline, but the second smallest one since the sequestration kicked in. This report may be a sign that governments at all levels...are groping toward a new balance and that most of the budget cutting that characterized recent years is now in the rear-view mirror. That could help set the stage for more stable growth in the future." Josh Zumbrun in The Wall Street Journal.
@philipaklein: If GDP grew at 4% and health care spending grew at just 0.7% every quarter forever, it would really help our fiscal situation!
Zoom out and full-year growth tells a less-exciting story. "By this measure, the expansion of the last few years looks a great deal more steady. The nation’s economic output has expanded by around 2 percent a year....The latest reading on the spring of this year is squarely within that range, with the expansion clocking in at 2.4 percent over the last 12 months. That growth rate would be just fine in normal times, when the economy is humming along with full employment. But it’s disappointing given that the economy still appears to be functioning below its potential, with unemployment high and businesses still not producing at full capacity." Neil Irwin in The New York Times.
Housing's hiatus. "Housing contributed positively to economic growth during the second quarter...after subtracting from growth in the past two quarters. One reason why the current recovery has been considerably weak: It hasn’t enjoyed as strong a contribution from the housing sector as in past recoveries. Housing, which stopped being a drag on growth in 2011, added a small boost in 2012 and most of 2013. The decline that began last fall wasn’t actually due to a slowdown in home construction, but instead reflected a drop in brokers’ real-estate commissions after sales of previously owned homes slumped." Nick Timiraos and Eric Morath in The Wall Street Journal.
Fed more confident in job market but nods to pickup in inflation. "In a carefully worded statement, the central bank’s top officials noted that unemployment has fallen but abandoned the caveat it had delivered in previous communication that the jobless rate remains elevated. Instead, the Fed said there remains a 'significant underutilization of labor resources' — a reference to the number of people who are underemployed. In addition, the Fed pointed out that inflation has moved 'somewhat closer' to the central bank's target of 2 percent. For much of last year, officials worried that price increases were too low, raising the specter of a period of deflation. Now, the Fed said, the likelihood of that scenario has 'diminished somewhat.'" Ylan Q. Mui in The Washington Post.
Reactions: Economists on the FOMC statement: Mixed messages. Sarah Portlock in The Wall Street Journal.
Fed stays the course on its exit. "The central bank left its key short-term interest rate near zero and gave no indication that it was about to change course any time soon. The Federal Reserve said slack in the labor market persists even as the economy is picking up, and it continued to trim monthly asset purchases that have pumped up its balance sheet to a record $4.41 trillion. The Fed doesn't want to spook investors; markets aren't expecting a first rate increase until well into next year. But with the economy having snapped back from the winter doldrums...and inflation moving higher toward the Fed's 2% target, there were indications that policymakers may feel more pressure to tighten policy sooner." Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, a House panel continued its effort to force Fed to follow a rule. "The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee narrowly approved a bill on Wednesday that would require the Federal Reserve to set a specific rule to follow when implementing monetary policy. The bill, which is opposed by the U.S. central bank, passed the panel on a 32-26 vote, clearing it for possible consideration by the full House. The prospects it will become law this year are slim." Michael Flaherty in Reuters.
Private sector payrolls added 218,000 in July, ADP says. "Companies added 218,000 workers in July, exceeding the average for the year and showing improving demand is bolstering the U.S. job market, a private payrolls report showed today. The gain this month followed a 281,000 increase in June that was the strongest since November 2012, according to data from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 230,000 advance in July." Jeanna Smialek in Bloomberg.
Other economic/financial reads:
New "know your customer" rules for banks are proposed. Associated Press.
GOP blocks tax hikes on firms moving overseas. Stephen Ohlemacher in the Associated Press.
THOMPSON: Why the boringness of this recovery is quite thrilling. "The bad news about a slow-but-steady recovery is clear: lingering long-term unemployment, stagnant wages, and a housing recovery that is leaving many middle-income families behind. But one interesting side-effect of the boring recovery* is that it puts to rest (for now) the popular fears of a AI/robot revolution taking all of our jobs. In that brave neo-industrial world, one thing you would expect to see is GDP growth rapidly outstripping empoyment, as robots did a bunch of work while Americans sat around waiting for federal welfare checks. Quite the opposite, in the last few years, GDP-per-worker has all but stopped growing." Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.
KRISTOF: Our blind spot about gun regulation. "Whenever I write about the need for sensible regulation of guns, some readers jeer: Cars kill people, too, so why not ban cars? Why are you so hypocritical as to try to take away guns from law-abiding people when you don’t seize cars? That question is a reflection of our national blind spot about guns. The truth is that we regulate cars quite intelligently, instituting evidence-based measures to reduce fatalities. Yet the gun lobby is too strong, or our politicians too craven, to do the same for guns. So guns and cars now each kill more than 30,000 in America every year." Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times.
CHAIT: New secret history of the Obamacare deniers. "Lots and lots of people followed the Affordable Care Act really closely. If the federal exchanges were intended not as a backup but as a punishment, denying their customers tax credits, it would have been a huge deal. People would have known about it. The Obama administration would have publicized the threat. This enormously consequential policy decision would be the subject of thousands of news stories and public comments. The news would not be confined to one economist speaking about it a couple of years later." Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine.
JAFFE: A national infrastructure agenda. "Late Tuesday, with federal transportation funding set to run dry by the end of the week, the U.S. Senate approved a funding patch that would stem the tide through mid-December. That stands in contrast to a House-approved patch that would fund transportation through May. The Senate hopes the earlier deadline will motivate Congress to craft a long-term plan this term — a rather optimistic goal....There are a bundle of cynical reasons why Congress has struggled to craft a reasonable long-term transportation plan in recent years, but there's also a pretty valid one that doesn't get enough attention: The United States lacks a national infrastructure agenda." Eric Jaffe in The Atlantic CityLab.
RUBIN: The conservative reform agenda: Probably smaller, definitely better. "Let’s acknowledge at the very least that there are real differences between libertarians and conservatives in public policy, not only in the vast divide on foreign policy but on what government should do and what the ideal size of government may be. It is fair to say that the libertarian version of 'reform' means eliminating aspects of government, not reforming them. Ryan and other like-minded conservatives have put behind them (like the rest of the country) any fantasy about a pre-New Deal government. Conservatives not only will tolerate many more governmental actions than libertarians, but they see those actions as positive. Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post.
GROSS: Forget energy efficiency. Utilities now have to deal with demand destruction. "Utilities can’t stand in the way of progress. But not all are taking demand destruction lying down. Arizona, for example, is a natural state for rooftop solar. Rather than allowing leasing companies to eat its lunch, one of the state’s utilities, Arizona Public Service Co., is offering to put solar panels on 3,000 homes in its service areas for free. The utility would own the panels and the electricity they produced, and customers would get a $30 monthly credit for 20 years. Cannibalizing your own business has a long been a cliché in management circles. But this is one instance in which doing so is necessary if utilities want to keep the lights on." Daniel Gross in Slate.
SNYDER: Colleges aren't equipped to adjudicate sexual assaults. "The accused are denied due process and judged by kangaroo courts. Victims are ignored and mistreated. False accusations fly, crimes go unpunished, and justice is rarely served. How on earth have we failed so miserably in dealing with sexual assault on campus?...Simply put, the higher education community is not equipped to play judge, jury, and executioner in matters that require the expertise of law enforcement and judges. After all, incidents of assault are often clouded in a morass of drugs, alcohol, and spotty memories. And when the accused actually is guilty, colleges and universities lack the authority to mete out the kind of punishment a crime as serious as sexual assault deserves." Avi Snyder in National Review.
Animals interlude: Dog brakes.
2. What's next now that the House has voted to sue the president?
Now what? "Now, it's up to Speaker John Boehner and the House counsel for a 'designation' of the action, meaning work will then begin with lawyers to finalize the language and legal direction of the lawsuit, deciding which arguments will have the best chances of success in court. Approval of the eventual direction and filing of the lawsuit will not have to go before a vote of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), a process that had been previously set. The outcome of such a vote would likely not have changed the direction of the suit anyway....From there, a federal judge has to decide whether the House has legal standing in its case. That question has lawyers split." Billy House and Matt Berman in National Journal.
An unprecedented and novel suit. "Plenty of Congress members, in both parties, have filed lawsuits or briefs in support of suits against presidents. Generally, federal judges dismiss the cases because usually only those affected by the law had standing to file suit. The novel idea for Thursday’s vote was driven by a clutch of conservative legal scholars who contend that the best way for Republicans to have legal standing in federal court is if the entire body passes legislation authorizing it....If the federal courts take up the matter, it could take years to reach conclusion and may have a larger impact on setting the parameters of the balance between the next president and Congress." Paul Kane and Zachary A. Goldfarb in The Washington Post.
Past lawsuits by members of Congress have failed. Why is this time any different? "It might not be. But lawyer David Rivkin and Florida International University law professor Elizabeth Price Foley have crafted some new and untested arguments — since adopted by Boehner in a memo to House Republicans — to justify why the House might have standing to sue the president for failing to execute the laws, in the following narrow and specific circumstances:" Andrew Prokop in Vox.
Primary source: The case for suing the president. David B. Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley in The Wall Street Journal.
Impeachment Lite? "Many conservatives have urged House Republicans to begin impeachment proceedings against Obama. Indeed, all five Republicans who voted against the lawsuit, including Paul Broun of Georgia and Steve Stockman of Texas, did so because they believe impeachment is more appropriate. While these calls have been limited mainly to marginal figures on the right...House Majority Whip Steve Scalise refused to rule it out....House Speaker John Boehner and many other leading members of the GOP, however, have opposed the possibility of impeachment, calling it a political misstep. The lawsuit is viewed as an alternative that would appease the GOP’s base without alienating more moderate voters." Ben Jacobs and Tim Mak in The Daily Beast.
Why the lawsuit could be a bigger headache for the GOP than impeachment. "In the fall campaign, it will be much easier for Democrats to tether Republican candidates in key races to the push for a lawsuit than it will to tie them to impeachment calls. That's why it could be a bigger problem. Sure, midterms are about base enthusiasm. And Republican leaders probably looked at a lawsuit as a way to fire up their base....But...why do it? Polls had already shown that the Republican base was more enthusiastic about voting in the fall than Democrats. Democrats have desperately been searching for ways to get their voters to go to the polls this fall. Republicans may have just inadvertently handed them a big one." Sean Sullivan in The Washington Post.
Explainer: 21 fundraising emails from Democrats about impeachment. The Atlantic.
Impeaching Obama is a fantasy — for both parties. "President Obama is not being impeached. But for several years, Republicans have been indulging and even encouraging that fantasy on the part of the far-right edges of their party’s base. Conservative backbenchers have told their constituents that the House has the votes to impeach the president. High-profile figures such as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin have called for it. The new House majority whip, Steve Scalise (R-La.)...declined to rule it out. And now Democrats are raising millions off the idea that the GOP is serious about doing it." Karen Tumulty and Wesley Lowery in The Washington Post.
A procedural oversight means hundreds of Obama rules are technically illegal. "Over the past two years, the Obama administration has published hundreds and hundreds of rules....There’s a problem, however: Technically speaking, these and some 1,800 other regulations shouldn’t be in effect because they weren’t reported to Congress as required. Yet there is little that lawmakers or the courts can do about it....Congress also barred such rules from judicial review." Juliet Eilperin in The Washington Post.
Chocolate interlude: Cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time.
3. One day before summer recess, checking in on last-minute legislation
Congress is making little progress on on spending bills. "The Senate is taking up only the second spending bill to reach the floor this year — the $3.57 billion supplemental for the border crisis, wildfires, and the defense of Israel — and prospects for passage are as slim as they were for the first one that died in June. And so without any of the 12 annual appropriations bills completed two months before fiscal year 2015 begins — and with a five-week recess just ahead — the talk has turned toward stopgap measures. Democratic senators, long bearish on the prospects of jump-starting the dormant appropriations process after the two-year bipartisan budget deal passed last year, are now pointing to the likelihood that a short-term continuing resolution will be necessary." Michael Catalini in National Journal.
Senate's border supplemental clears first hurdle. "A Senate measure to deal with the historic influx of illegal immigrants entering the United States from Central America cleared a key procedural hurdle Wednesday morning, providing a glimmer of hope that Congress could still fulfill President Obama's request for emergency funding to deal with the crisis before adjourning Friday for the start of a five-week recess. The bill still needs to get through more potential procedural obstacles before final passage and it was unclear Wednesday whether it will survive." Ed O'Keefe in The Washington Post.
Tea party seeks to kill House GOP's pared-down border measure. "The effort by Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), who made his pitch to a group of House Republicans in a closed-door evening meeting, marked another direct shot at attempts by Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants arriving from Central America." Ed O'Keefe and Robert Costa in The Washington Post.
Aaaand, Obama threatens to veto it. "The White House threatened to veto the House’s $659 million border supplemental Wednesday, saying it could actually make the child migrant crisis worse. The veto threat could buck up Democrats looking to kill the bill in an effort to push Republicans to pass a more generous version....The administration also ripped the bill for failing to include money for wildfires, or for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system." Steven T. Dennis in Roll Call.
House will also give conservatives a vote to bar Obama from 'administrative amnesty.' "One vote will be on the $659 million appropriations bill aimed at curbing the flow of child migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, which includes policy riders that have alienated nearly all Democrats. On the condition of that bill passing, members would then be allowed to a vote on standalone language prohibiting the expansion of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program granting deportation relief and work permits to children brought here illegally by their parents." Emma Dumain in Roll Call.
@costareports: Thursday's question: will promised standalone vote on DACA be enough to get House's Cruz wing to back border bill?
@costareports: an early test will be Th morning GOP conf mtg... it'll mostly be about fundraising but immigration will loom over discussion...
If Congress does nothing on the migrant crisis, then what? "An HHS spokesman said that without the funding — and without 'extraordinary measures' — HHS would be 'unable to set up more stable, cost-effective arrangements for these children.' But it did not say that the agency would be unable to care for children. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will run out of money in mid-August and the Customs and Border Protection service will run out in mid-September, forcing DHS to divert money from elsewhere in the department. But it, too, did not cite any particular consequences. This may be partly because the number of children apprehended at the border has fallen dramatically from its peak in June." Laura Meckler and Kristina Peterson in The Wall Street Journal.
Public-service announcement: How to report a fraud scheme that targets families of unaccompanied migrant children. Josh Hicks in The Washington Post.
House passes VA compromise measure. "House lawmakers easily passed a sweeping overhaul...that will make it easier for the nation's military veterans to seek medical care outside the government-run system....With the public and military veterans groups demanding quick corrective action at the VA, congressional leaders knew that approving the reforms before the summer recess would be critical." Ed O'Keefe in The Washington Post.
Explainer: 9 things the new VA chief promises for his first 90 days. Josh Hicks in The Washington Post.
Food interlude: I scream for ice cream.
4. How the U.S. is responding to the Ebola threat
U.S. agencies take precautionary measures. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is little risk that the virus could reach the U.S. by air travel. The agency has advised stateside health care providers to watch patients who have traveled to West Africa recently for symptoms of the virus. It also issued a 'level 2' travel alert, warning U.S. visitors to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone to avoid contact with infected individuals....A 'level 3' warning, would prompt the State Department to advise against nonessential travel to these nations. U.S. embassies in the affected nations are recommending that U.S. citizens traveling there enroll in a State Department traveler program that provides security updates and makes it easier for embassy or consulate officials to contact travelers in case of emergencies." Marina Koren in National Journal.
ICYMI: U.S. scientists seek treatments for Ebola. Marina Koren in National Journal.
Peace Corps removing volunteers from West African nations... "The spread of the deadly Ebola virus has prompted the Peace Corps to evacuate volunteers from three West African countries....Two Peace Corps volunteers [have] been placed in isolation after being exposed to someone who later died of the highly contagious virus....While not showing symptoms, the volunteers are awaiting medical clearance to return to the United States....While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the odds that Ebola will reach the United States are slim, it has still advised American health-care workers to be cautious." Elahe Izadi in The Washington Post.
...as well as faith-based organizations. CBS News.
Explainer: How different parts of the world are responding to the Ebola outbreak. Abby Ohlheiser in The Washington Post.
What if Ebola were to make it here? It'd be containable. "The scenario isn't as far-fetched as it might sound. With air travel as common as it is, borders don't mean all that much when it comes to disease. It's entirely possible...that at some point, someone infected with Ebola could get on a plane and land in the United States. And then what? As it turns out, experts say, we'd probably be able to contain an Ebola outbreak here pretty quickly....The outbreak in West Africa is so severe for a number of key reasons, including a lack of resources, inadequate infection control measures, and mistrust of health workers. The United States, by contrast, has far better public-health infrastructure." Susannah Locke in Vox.
Chikungunya virus makes gains in the U.S. "Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has swept through the Caribbean in recent months, is making gains in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The CDC issued a count this week indicating almost 400 cases have been diagnosed in non-Caribbean areas of the United States this year, all but two of them contracted outside the United States. Another 215 cases were diagnosed in Puerto Rico, where 199 were contracted locally. Florida leads the way among states, with 107 cases, and its two locally contracted cases are the only ones in the continental U.S." John Bacon in USA Today.
Other health care reads:
Senate Democrats set with military contraception bill. Jennifer Haberkorn in Politico.
Massachusetts is fighting back against the SCOTUS buffer-zone ruling. Sophie Novack in National Journal.
Another animal interlude: These dogs learned the hard way not to eat bees.
5. How Congress wants to tackle campus sexual assaults
A bipartisan bill to toughen colleges' assault reports. "A key provision would require colleges to conduct an annual, anonymous survey in which students would be asked about their experiences with sexual assault on campus. Colleges would be required to publish the results online 'so that parents and high school students can make an informed choice when comparing universities,' a summary of the bill says. The proposal would toughen sanctions against colleges that fail to report sexual assault crimes as required by federal law, raising the penalty from $35,000 per violation to $150,000 per violation. It also would fine schools up to 1% of their operating budgets if they fail to investigate reports of sexual assault on their campuses." Mary Beth Marklein in USA Today.
The previous penalties: An empty threat?. "The most important thing the law would do is force universities to recalculate the cost of hiding a problem so widespread that in surveys, one woman in five says she’s been assaulted during college. Currently, schools that dutifully report such attacks to the Education Department, as they’re required to do under Title IX, wind up looking worse than schools whose officials skirt the rules and hope for the best....Right now, the only stick the Education Department has to try to get schools to comply is the threat that the university could, theoretically, lose every cent of its federal funding. That’s 'like me telling my kids I’m never going to speak to them again' if they don’t shape up, said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)....Could any threat be emptier? " Melinda Henneberger in The Washington Post.
List: Schools currently under investigation for possible Title IX sexual-assault reporting violations. Center for Public Integrity.
Texas student wants ruling upholding race in admissions decisions reviewed by full appeals court. "En banc review is necessary, the new petition argued, because the majority of the three-judge panel disobeyed orders from the Supreme Court to rethink a prior ruling allowing some use of race. Last year, the Supreme Court returned the case to the Fifth Circuit, with instruction to apply a new and more restrictive analysis to the part of the Texas admissions plan that relies in part upon the applying students’ race to fill about one-fifth of each freshman class. Earlier this month, the panel upheld the plan for the second time, finding that the university had again made its case." Lyle Denniston in SCOTUSblog.
Managers are nearly twice as likely as service workers to get paid time off. Christopher Ingraham.
What the rapidly urbanizing Southeast could look like come 2060. Emily Badger.
Where do the latest U.S. sanctions leave Russian oil? Steven Mufson.
GDP growth is the same it’s always been. That’s the good and bad news. Matt O'Brien.
Fed more confident in job market but nods to pickup in inflation. Ylan Q. Mui.
Keeping up with the Joneses, hospital edition. Jason Millman.
The federal government’s incredibly poor, misleading argument for marijuana prohibition. Christopher Ingraham.
That $5 latte is now less likely to cost you $35 in overdraft fees. Danielle Douglas.
Struggling homeowners wait to get mortgage relief. And wait. And wait. Dina ElBoghdady.
America’s marijuana arrest rates, in one chart. Steven Rich.
Economy’s growth rate surges to 4 percent in second quarter. Ylan Q. Mui.
The debate around the research that’s led to another lawsuit to end teacher tenure. Max Ehrenfreund.
The appeal of unhappy cities. Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham.
As wildfires burn, Washington seeks new way to pay for them. Brian Naylor in NPR.
Franchise businesses worry about reach of labor ruling. Steven Greenhouse in The New York Times.
Obama to order federal contractors to disclose labor violations. Amanda Becker in Reuters.
What happens now that Argentina is in selective default? Peter Coy in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Airlines sue TSA over higher security fees. Justin Bachman in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Senate investigation uncovers widespread bogus cellphone charges. Laura Ryan in National Journal.
Technical glitch clogs up visa system. Miriam Jordan and Felicia Schwartz in The Wall Street Journal.
Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail us.
Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams and Ryan McCarthy.