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TPMDC is thankful today for political books that aren't boring or retread, and David Plouffe's "The Audacity to Win" fits into that category.

Plouffe ran the Obama campaign in 2008 and still does work for the DNC's campaign arm Organizing for America. He dishes in his book on some of the campaign's best-kept secrets.

We've reported on a few since the book came out - the Obama camp leaked the John Edwards haircut, they pushed for an early state campaign pledge to "box in" Hillary Clinton and Edwards offered to endorse for a spot on the ticket.

But there's so much more.

I covered the entire long campaign, and it was fascinating to read a candid book and peek under the hood at what had been a famously tight-lipped shop.

There are plenty of examples of Plouffe being cheap, and a few mentions of Plouffe and Robert Gibbs in their boxers.

After the jump, TPMDC's Top 10 things that Plouffe reveals in "Audacity to Win."

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The Los Angeles Times notes that a text sent by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) to his girlfriend is just one syllable away from being a haiku -- the Japanese poetic form that consists of five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven in the second.

Wrote Ensign to his beloved:

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This post was reported by Nick Pinto, and written by Nick Pinto and Zachary Roth

A North Carolina health insurer is facing a major backlash in the wake of its campaign to enlist customers in the fight against health-care reform.

The state's Insurance Commissioner has begun an inquiry into a mailer sent recently by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina -- and first revealed last month by TPMmuckraker -- that urged customers to lobby Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) to vote against the public option. As we reported Tuesday, the state's Attorney General has opened his own probe of a barrage of follow-up robo-calls generated by the insurer. And state lawmakers continue to express their own and their constituents' outrage at the effort, with one legislator telling TPMmuckraker that some recipients of the mailer sent it back to BCBS attached to a brick.

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The Obama family's first White House Thanksgiving was resplendent with pie.

They hosted about 50 guests, including family, friends and staff, the White House said.

The White House told the pool reporter on holiday duty that Obama's favorite Thanksgiving dishes are turkey and pumpkin pie. However, last year he told reporters his favorite dish was sweet potato pie.

Republicans used to make fun of all the times Obama would say on the campaign trail that he loves pie. In one example, he goes on and on about the pie:

Yesterday's menu after the jump.

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President Obama spoke with members of the armed services on Thanksgiving, a few days before he will be announcing an increase of more than 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

The White House said Obama made 10 calls to troops.

He called two service members in each of the five military branches "to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and to let them know how much Michelle and he are truly thankful for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the nation," the White House told a pool reporter on holiday duty.

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As Josh reported yesterday, Doug Hoffman is preparing a second run at the NY-23 congressional seat next year.

On his website yesterday, Hoffman laid out his reasons for deciding take on Rep. Bill Owens (D) so soon after he conceded to the freshman Representative for the second time. In short, Hoffman suggests again that the Nov. 3 special election was rigged in Owens' favor -- and then immediately apologizes to elections officials for offending them with the claim.

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued this statement on Thanksgiving:

"The United States is deeply concerned about reports of additional charges facing Kian Tajbakhsh, an Iranian-American scholar who has been detained in Iran without access to an independent lawyer since July 9, 2009. The charges against Mr. Tajbakhsh are baseless, and his original sentence on October 20 was an outrage. The Iranian government cannot earn the respect of the international community when it violates universal rights, and continues to imprison innocent people. We call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Mr. Tajbakhsh, and to respect the human rights of those within its borders.

Three years after Dems rode Nancy Pelosi's promise to "drain the swamp" to a congressional majority, a potentially big scandal has been simmering that threatens to cause problems for the party going into the 2010 midterms.

It's a story involving what was one of D.C.'s biggest lobbying firms (until it was raided by the Feds and closed up shop), several powerful Democratic appropriators, and the defense industry. And it appears to be considerably more serious that the allegations of financial misconduct that have dogged Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) -- allegations that have gotten the lion's share of press coverage focusing on ethical transgressions.

A federal criminal investigation has touched two House Dems, and another three, along with two Republicans, are under scrutiny by a pair of congressional ethics panels in matters related to the defunct lobbying firm, PMA Group.

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With Thanksgiving recess now upon us, it seems an appropriate time to revisit the hysterical Republican whoppers and talking points about the Democratic party agenda that have dominated this Congress. Herewith a top-five list:

Number Five: Paul Ryan Draws Line On Graph

Back in the Spring, when Democrats were putting together the federal budget, House Budget Committee ranking member Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a much-mocked Republican alternative, which would have basically canceled the stimulus and instituted a spending freeze of sorts. The ideas in the Republican alternative budget were roundly rebuked by experts, but Ryan wasn't deterred. Instead of accepting defeat, he unveiled some graphs suggesting that, under Republican budgets, spending would be restrained, while under Democratic budgets, it would blow through the roof.

Except his numbers weren't based on any analysis at all. Instead, Ryan used CBO numbers through 2018 and then drew an upward-sloping line on the graph completely at random. It didn't take long for Republicans to catch on and begin claiming that Democratic policies would make government spending half of GDP before the end of the century.

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