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Dispatches from Capitol Hill and the executive branch

Play of the Day: Why Obama 'Negotiated With Terrorists' for Bowe Bergdahl

An American soldier's return home from his time as a prisoner of war should be celebrated—but the move that brought Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl back from Afghanistan should also be criticized. Stephen Colbert doesn't appreciate the president's "negotiating with terrorists," but he thinks he understands the reasoning behind it.

Plus: Obama unveils a new (and wasteful) energy plan, mass shootings like the recent incident in Santa Barbara are becoming all too commonplace, and the NSA is peeking at your selfies. 

Should the Government Force Food-Stamp Users to Eat Better?

Food-stamp users would be much healthier if they were forbidden to spend federal dollars on soda, but subsidizing part of the cost of their fruits and vegetables would not have a significant impact on obesity and diabetes, according to a new report from Stanford University.

The Stanford researchers are the first to evaluate the impact these government actions would have on the 46 million Americans who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. Public health officials are searching for ways to improve the nutrition of SNAP participants, who have higher rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes than Americans of the same income level who aren't in the program.

According to the study, "SNAP participants consume almost twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages as they do from vegetables and fruit." There's a growing body of evidence that liquid calories can do more damage to the body than regular junk food, and Basu said that's a key reason why banning the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages would have a significant impact on the health of SNAP users.

"We observed that the restriction from purchasing sugary beverages could prevent 400,000 cases of obesity and 250...