Under the steamy New Orleans sun, shuttle buses drop off passengers at regular intervals at Hall F of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Attendees stroll into the chilled air of the center, chatting with each other or on cellphones as they head to the opening session in the newly refurbished hall, its garish orange carpet replaced with one with a soothing blue pattern. The scene is like hundreds of others at convention centers around the country, but there's a difference. “You are ...

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