News & Politics

Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

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

About Guest List

Guest List is Washingtonian’s monthly roundup of the fantasy cast we’d like to see for dinner this month.

Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. The new Republican chair of the House Budget Committee would play a key role in the new Congress under any circumstances. But he takes office at a time when federal spending is knocking at the debt ceiling, giving him leverage to ask for spending cuts. Among the cuts he’ll ask for, even if a Democratic Senate means he won’t get them: A repeal of health-care reform. Ryan is already working hard promoting a new Republican congressional report touting the reforms as a spending disaster. Ryan may put the country on a fiscal diet, but he’s positioned to enjoy a political feast.

• Marie Morilus-Black. The director of the Children and Youth Services division of the DC Department of Mental Health admits, as part of a blockbuster Washington City Paper investigation, that residential treatment centers for young offenders don’t help. We’d love to talk to her about how to get meaningful treatment for the region’s troubled youth—and how to keep more Washingtonians like late principal Brian Betts from falling victim to crimes committed by kids who are ill-served by the system.

• Rear Admiral Dan Davenport. The chief of staff of the Joint Forces Command handles all the command’s administrative issues. And there’ll be a lot of those now that President Obama has formally accepted a proposal to retool JFCOM, shedding about 3,000 jobs in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates has announced plans to decommission the Navy’s Second Fleet, which is based in Norfolk, and centralize control of its ships and personnel.

• Sekou Biddle, DC’s new at-large City Council member. Biddle pulled off a surprise victory over former councilman Vincent Orange in the third round of last night’s voting by members of Washington’s Democratic State Committee. For those voters who bemoaned former Mayor Adrian Fenty’s loss to Mayor Vincent Gray in last year’s election as proof that you can’t beat the establishment in Washington, Biddle’s victory may be proof that insurgents still have a chance—and that support for education reform in Washington isn’t dead. Biddle is a strong backer of charter schools and worked for both KIPP DC and Teach for America.

• Ellen and Richard Vlasak of Circe Salon in Alexandria. The question of whether the Real Housewives of DC will get a second season on Bravo remains unanswered. But in the region’s high-end-hairstylist wars, ratcheted up by the arrival of Ted Gibson in town and Erwin Gomez’s departure from the salon that bears his name, the Vlasaks are using the fact that some Housewives appear to be switching to Circe as a marketing coup. And given that the Vlasaks say both Michaele Salahi and Stacie Turner have patronized them recently, maybe Circe has achieved the salon integration that Mary Amons tipsily championed in one of the show’s early episodes.

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