Tuesday September 10, 2013 | 08:50 PM

Improvements and modifications. 

That's the self-imposed mandate for the Ticker, which has languished over the summer months as I tended to pressing matters: 


All that changes today.

First, an announcement: New stuff!

As anyone who browses (or trolls, or spams) the #mepolitics Twitter feed knows, there's can be abundance of wit, humor, sanctimony and nutter rants to satisfy most Maine political junkies. But it's time to step it up. To facilitate that effort, the Ticker will begin publishing the top #mepolitics tweets of the week. Every Friday, starting next week, we'll embed a few highlights right here. So feel free to crack wise and preach, but don't swear and don't hate (too much). 

Of course, some of the best tweets come during the evening hours -- you know, when everyone is sober -- so it'll be up to the insomniacs to flag 'em and send them my way

The Ticker will roll out the second new feature later this year. I'm excited about this one, so here's a teaser: Humor, schadenfreude and reader participation. 

The new stuff will be in addition to regular posts here. 

* * * 

Republican operative Matthew Gagnon has done a beautiful thing. He started a fantasy football league and invited a motley crue. The participants: Tony Consiglio, Dirigo Blue, Tyler Leclair, myself, Deron Smith, Ben Sprague, Cary Weston, Lance DutsonAdam Warren LittlefieldChristine RousselleRich Cebra, Garrett Murch, David Farmer, Dean ScontrasDavid HeidrichRyan McCabeJoe Baldacci, Ben Goodman and Colin Woodard

You should have seen the trash talk during the draft. 

Anyway, here's the Week 1 results. My team is Look Ma No Arms. I'll leave it up to the other participants to disclose which one they own:

Tune in here for Week 2 results. 

* * * 

Quick hits:

* The Maine People's Resource Center will be releasing a poll Wednesday on the governor's race and the U.S. Senate, according to Mike Tipping, who oversees polling for the center.

* Tipping, by the way, and his "Mike Michaud Looking at Things" made me think of today's news about a potential resolution in Syria. Who knew that an offhand remark by a high-placed U.S. official was the key to diplomacy? And, who would ever guess that a key player in this potential detente would be notorious Russian President Vladmir Putin, the man perhaps best known for strange, staged action photos that bare some resemblance to those posted by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, the inspiration for Tipping's "looking at things" post?  

Non-political item (because you've earned it):  

About the Author

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Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.

Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

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