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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in the news today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse. The Capitol Police are tasked with the difficult job of keeping Congress both secure and accessible to the public. As Morse and the rest of the force try to balance new anxieties and needs in the wake of a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, Saturday that targeted Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Capitol Police will be a key part of the debate on safety and democracy.

• Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker. The county ended 2010 with a debate on corruption and has started 2011 with a string of murders. Baker can’t do much about the latter, but he’s trying to change the county’s reputation by pushing for limits on campaign contributions from developers. They may be little steps, but they’re part of an important conversation about the county’s culture.

• Wilson Center professor Blair Ruble. Other neighborhoods may have become hotter zones for developers, but Ruble’s new biography of DC’s U Street celebrates and examines the dynamics that have made the neighborhood alternately a center of crime, collaboration, and the arts.

• David Magnus. The Petworth resident did a year of probation for handgun possession after the police found two loaded guns and marijuana in his home. Now, the DC Court of Appeals says he can move forward with an appeal of his conviction, citing the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia vs. Heller ruling, striking down Washington’s sweeping guns ban. With Giffords’ shooting reigniting dormant debates over gun laws, Magnus’s appeal, and the region’s response, are both worth watching.

• Virginia Tech tailback Ryan Williams. The sophomore announced that he’s leaving Tech to enter the NFL draft, meaning Tech won’t get to capitalize on his record-setting rookie season after he recovers from a hamstring injury. But while we shake off the effects of another dismal Redskins season, at least someone in the Washington area has good football news.

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