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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.

-- The White House threatened to veto a $450 billion deal on tax extenders being negotiated between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) on Tuesday, making public a fight that's been brewing all week. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said earlier the White House wouldn't approve the deal, which it views as too skewed toward corporate tax breaks over benefits for the middle class. (Washington Post, New York Times, The Hill)

-- The deal doesn't include a permanent expansion of the earned-income tax credit and the child tax credit for the working poor, two Democratic priorities. Republicans said they would keep those measures out of the deal in retribution for Obama's executive action on immigration. House Democrats mainly sided with the White House; Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called key Democratic members to make sure she would have the votes to sustain a veto. (New York Times)

-- Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy asked President Obama to take her off the list to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. In a letter to the board of the Center for a New American Security, which she runs, Flournoy said she had spoken to Obama Monday night. Flournoy cited two of her children, who will leave for college in the next two years. (Foreign Policy) That leaves former Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter as the only widely-mentioned candidate still on the list.

-- Police in Ferguson, Mo., said 44 people were arrested in what was otherwise a calmer night of protests a day after a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Tear gas was used at one site. State officials tripled the number of National Guard troops in Ferguson to more than 2,000. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

-- U.S. District Court judges in Arkansas and Mississippi on Tuesday ruled against same-sex marriage bans in both states. Judge Carlton Reeves in Mississippi and Judge Kristine Baker in Arkansas each stayed their rulings to give the states time to appeal to the 5th Circuit. Arguments in similar cases out of Louisiana and Texas will be heard the week of Jan. 5. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Associated Press)

-- The latest on the storm headed toward D.C. this morning: Steady rain is expected to continue through the morning, with temperatures near 40 degrees in most of the greater D.C. area. The change-over to snow or a rain/snow mix will begin between 10 a.m. and noon. D.C. itself could still avoid snow, but accumulation will grow the farther west you go. Snow and rain expected to end this evening. (Capital Weather Gang)

-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with damage caused by riots in Ferguson, Mo. St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "SMOLDERING: Continuing Anger But Less Violence." NYT gives Ferguson a three-column lead. USA Today banner from Ferguson: "Chaos 'cannot be repeated.'" LA Times looks at Obama's search for a new Defense Secretary. WSJ leads with a Supreme Court review of pollution standards for power plants.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH'16: Turns out that Chuck Todd question to former HP CEO Carly Fiorina didn't entirely come out of left field: Fiorina has been talking privately to potential donors and recruiting possible staffers as she plans trips to Iowa and New Hampshire in the next few months. Fiorina is getting help from former Koch Industries strategist Frank Sadler and Americans for Job Security chief Stephen DeMaura. Fiorina still owes almost $500,000 to consultants associated with her losing 2010 Senate campaign. (Washington Post) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) met with Sheldon Adelson on Monday and Tuesday in New York. The New York Observer says Adelson found Cruz "too right wing," though Adelson disputed that characterization. (New York Observer)

-- Maryland: Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will propose regulations in December that would allow oil and gas developers to explore areas of Western Maryland using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) criticized O'Malley for taking action on his way out the door; Hogan takes office on Jan. 21 and has promised to review O'Malley's post-election actions. The O'Malley administration spent three years studying whether Maryland should allow fracking in the Marcellus Shale formation. (Washington Post, Baltimore Sun)

-- New Hampshire: Entrepreneur Shawn O'Connor (D) has been reaching out to New Hampshire Democrats to gauge a possible challenge to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (D). O'Connor moved to New Hampshire from New York City just last year, though he hasn't been terribly active in state politics. But someone posted ads in Roll Call on Monday seeking two top finance aides for a campaign that would have fit his description. Those ads were quickly deleted. (WMUR) New Hampshire Democrats have an 800-lb. gorilla considering the race: Gov. Maggie Hassan (D).

-- New Jersey: State Sen. Dick Codey (D) said Tuesday he will introduce legislation that would bar retail stores from opening before 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving to prevent Black Friday from spreading even further into Thursday. Codey pointed to blue laws in Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island that prevent stores from opening before midnight on Thursday. (NJ Advance Media) Good try, Sen. Codey. Never gonna happen, but we applaud the effort to protect America's best holiday.

DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.

-- President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey, which gets capitalized for some reason. It's the 67th anniversary of the first White House pardon (they've been playing fowl all these years, ba doom, ching!). The Obamas will participate in a service event in the D.C. area later this afternoon.

-- Vice President Biden is in Nantucket with his family, where he has no public events on the schedule.

-- The Obama administration is expected to release a proposed regulation to curb ozone emissions from power plants and factories particularly in the Midwest. The regulation would lower the current threshold for ozone pollution from 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion, less stringent than what environmental groups are seeking but strict enough for Republicans to complain of costly government overreach. (New York Times)

-- In a speech at the National Press Club Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats "blew the opportunity the American people gave them" in 2008 by tackling health care reform before fixing the economy. "We took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem -- health care reform," Schumer said. "[I]t wasn't the change we were hired to make." Schumer said voter discontent will continue until one party convinces the middle class its agenda will benefit them. (Bloomberg, Washington Post)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- Uber is close to raising venture capital financing that would value the company at $35 billion to $40 billion. Both T. Rowe Price and Fidelity are in discussions to join this round of fundraising, which would bring the company at least $1 billion. A June round of financing valued the company at $17 billion. (Bloomberg) Context: That would give Uber 1.5 times the market capitalization of Twitter, about even with Kraft Foods Group and Delta Airlines, and four times the market cap of Hertz, the car rental company.

-- Stocks are virtually flat today after a calm day Tuesday. Most world markets were up on Wednesday. (CNN)

C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.

-- Among those most concerned by a seven-month extension of nuclear talks between Iran and the P-5 plus one group: The 39 surviving American hostages held captive in Tehran for 444 days from 1979 to 1981. As part of the deal, Iran will continue receiving $700 million a mont in funds once frozen by Western sanctions. The hostages and their families think that money could be used as restitution for the months they spent in captivity. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have a bill that would compensate the former hostages from temporary surcharges on companies that do business in Iran in violation of American sanctions. Federal courts have refused to overturn the Algiers Accord, signed by President Jimmy Carter, which exempted Iran from liability for the kidnappings. (New York Times)

Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.

-- Addressing an audience in Chicago on Tuesday, President Obama was interrupted by protestors demanding an end to deportations of undocumented immigrants. Obama shut them down: "What you're not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law," he said. (Breitbart) Weekly Standard: "Obama Admits: 'I Just Took an Action to Change the Law.'" Fox News: "Obama Admits: 'I Just Took Action to Change the Law.'"

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- Democracy North Carolina, a voting rights group, says a new elections law passed last year kept between 30,000 and 50,000 voters away from the polls this year. The elections overhaul moved and reduced the number of early voting sites, ended same-day registration and required voters to show an ID when heading to the polls. More than 27,000 people used same-day registration or voted out of precinct in 2010, both methods that weren't allowed this year. (Raleigh News & Observer) State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) beat Sen. Kay Hagan (D) by 45,667 votes.