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Gov. Ed Rendell was in Washington yet again today to lobby for an extension of Medicaid assistance to the states -- which we've written about before and would blow an $850 million hole in the budget if it doesn't go through. Rendell was joined by five governors from across the country at a news conference at the J.W. Mariott hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, and four more -- including Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger of California -- joined via teleconference.

Amid the doomsday predictions of what would happen if the states don't get the money, which the Senate is reluctant to do given the current attitude about spending, was a bit of Rendellian levity. Gov. Mark Parkinson of Kansas, like his colleagues, spoke about how much he has had to cut from his state's budget. "I'm not a spendthrift liberal that thinks we need to spend money all the time," Parkinson said.

Rendell, seated on the dais, leaned over to Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and said -- if this reporter's amateur lip reading is accurate -- "I am," and the pair shared a chuckle.

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