Obama's not sworn in for another 11 days, but Rahm Emanuel is already said to be gutting one of his many hated enemies, Howard Dean. Presumably with a steak knife.

Emanuel is famous for ritualistically cursing his enemies by slamming a steak knife into the dinner table. He does this constantly, with his freak horror hand, which is missing a digit he once broke off, in someone's eye socket.

Dean was a major foe, back in 2006, when, as chair of the Democratic National Committee, the former presidential candidate wanted to invest party campaign funds in red states under a "50 State Strategy." Emanuel wanted to spend more money on close races in battleground states, and leave the 50 State Stategy for a non-election year. (Great summary at RealClearPolitics.)

Dean's strategy probably paved the way for Obama's 2008 landslide by building strong organizing teams in traditionally red states in the South and in mountain states like Colorado.

But things got pretty bitter in 2006 — the two hot-tempered politicos stopped talking after an "explosive dispute" — and Dean's brother Jim says he's certain Emanuel is now exacting vengance.

How? First by crushing Dean's dream of being Secretary of Health and Human Services, a job that went to Obama ally Tom Daschle instead.

Then by not inviting Dean to the Obama press conference anointing Dean's successor. Instead Dean was left to do some secretarial work in, uh, Samoa. Ha. We'd be thrilled to be on a tropical island in the dead of winter, instead of at a ridiculous press conference for a c-list cabinet gig a party functionary, but this is all very upsetting to Dean, and Emanuel probably knew it.

Rahm's people are acting all nonchalant. Howard who?? Politico:

"I talk to Rahm every day," said this source. "Neither he nor I have mentioned the name of Howard Dean. It's just not on his radar screen."

"Rahm never stabs you in the back. He stabs you in front."

Ha ha, but seriously: Rahm will bloody well cut you. Let Howard Dean be an example to all you bitches.