Just when you think the federal government has overreached all it can …

Ah, you know the rest.

One of the latest edicts involves public housing projects, where the feds propose that indoor smoking be prohibited. The first push began in 2009, and 600+ agencies accounting for 200,000+ households have signed on.

The feds cite secondhand smoke, reducing the risk of fires and lowering maintenance costs. (From the looks of most projects, maintenance costs go straight into the pockets of political cronies.)

The New York Times cautiously sent a reporter out and (imagine this!) found a smoker at Walt Whitman Houses in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

Said Gary Smith, 47, cigarette in hand: “What I do in my apartment should be my problem, long as I pay my rent.”

He also brought up the question of whether a smoking ban could be enforced.

“You don’t know what’s going on in people’s apartments. … What are they going to do, smell your apartment?”

Well, maybe it will come to that. Some PC types currently whimpering on college campuses are rendering themselves largely unemployable, so perhaps they can find jobs with the Federal Smoke Police. They can sniff around like Smokey Bear (ignoring crack pipes and marijuana, of course).

Julian Castro, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, told The Times that “we believe it’s important that we have an environment that’s healthy in public housing.”

That’s why he gets the big bucks and is a rising star in Democratic politics … because he’s moving on something that causes 0.001% of a problem.

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