Vets, state workers and the state budget — All three dodged a bullet this week when the feds inspected the Vermont Veterans' Home and gave it a passing grade, sparing it a loss in Medicare and Medicaid funding. Runner-up winner: Sen. Bernie Sanders, who used his perch as Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman to press the feds on funding.
Rosetta Stone — Gov. Peter Shumlin's gonna have to brush up on his Mandarin before traveling to China next month to sell visas for cash — ahem, I mean, seek overseas investment for job-creating projects in Vermont.
Howard Dean — On a trip to Iowa presumably meant to hype up presidential speculation, the former gov put the kibosh on Dean 2016 by essentially endorsing Hillary Clinton. Then, on Friday, the political group he founded, Democracy for America, laid off six employees. Runner-up winner: Howard Dean, who may be playing the long game for a cabinet post in a Hillary administration.
The Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare — The anti-death-with-dignicide crowd released a bizarre new ad this week seeking to repeal a law permitting terminally ill patients to end their own lives, as the Burlington Free Press' Terri Hallenbeck first reported. But wait! You can't repeal a new law until the next biennium — meaning 2015 — right?!