- - Monday, November 16, 2015

When HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced a proposed rule to ban smoking in public housing nationwide, the absurdity was too much to bear. Here was another predictable liberal toady from President Obama’s regime (and a man very often mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton) sanctimoniously issuing a supposedly grave concern about the health and safety of poor Americans.

This “we care for you!” declaration is nothing but a cynical political maneuver and should be mocked for its dangerous hypocrisy.

Mr. Castro, all puffed up and smug, announces their “rule” to keep the poor relying on public housing from smoking in their own apartments yet the same Mr. Obama and Mr. Castro are working feverishly to make sure convicted gangbangers and drug dealers are assured apartments and homes in that very same federal public housing behemoth.

Consider people languishing in Section 8 housing and federal housing projects getting a lecture about how they will not be allowed to smoke in their own homes all in the name of “health and safety.” Then contemplate the irony of the same federal bureaucracy re-writing the rules to make sure convicted criminals have an easier time moving in right next door to a single mom trying to raise her two sons and desperate to keep them out of trouble.

What do liberals tell that woman? That they care about her health and safety by banning tobacco, as they move in a meth dealer next door and an MS-13 gang member down the hall.

In September, Mr. Castro responded to “human rights activists” asking HUD to eliminate rules banning convicted criminals from public housing. This was rather convenient, as the administration was preparing to release 6,600 federal convicts, the largest mass release of criminals in history. And it’s just the beginning of a planned release of 46,000 federal convicts.

As this horror unfolds, perhaps Mr. Obama’s bureaucrats think everyone will be distracted from the influx of drug criminals with the tobacco smoking ban rule. Are they trying to replace tobacco with meth in Section 8 housing? Considering our president was the pot-smoking “Choom Gang” leader in high school, anything is possible.

Smoking is already banned in the lobby and hallways of public housing projects, but this new rule would also prohibit it in individual apartments. All in the name of protecting people from the dangers of second-hand smoke. In a statement, Mr. Castro declared, “We have a responsibility to protect public housing residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, especially the elderly and children who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases. This proposed rule will help improve the health of more than 760,000 children and help public housing agencies save $153 million every year in healthcare, repairs and preventable fires.”

So in Mr. Obama’s world, you only really count if you’re poor and struggling and have broken the social contract by committing a major federal crime. God help you should you be poor, follow all the rules, and make a point of living decently.

While the administration insists these are “non-violent” criminals, think again.

“Their unprecedented release couldn’t come at a worse time. Drug-related shootings and murders are exploding in the very U.S. cities where these paroled drug-dealers will be dumped,” Investors Business Daily reported. “These aren’t disadvantaged youths busted for smoking pot, as Mr. Obama has portrayed them. Most sold crack cocaine or meth, highly addictive drugs typically associated with violent crimes, including armed robberies, carjackings and drive-by shootings.”

The irony, of course, is the one thing that would assist the poor and struggling who are mired in the hell of government assistance is if liberals admitted it’s their malignant policies keeping people in a cycle of poverty. Health is immediately impacted by stress, which is the main product of the Democratic party, their boss Barack Obama and his henchmen like Mr. Castro.

Many of us agree smoking is an awful thing. I grew up with a mother who smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. It was an environment that instilled in me a personal disgust for the habit, and for my generation, we ultimately grew up with science proving the link between smoking, cancer and heart disease.

Smoke-free environments are good things, but the issue here is the extraordinary cynicism, hypocrisy and even malevolence of the Obama administration banning smoking in the name of health and safety while at the same time importing convicted criminals whose crimes specifically destroy both.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.

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