John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
August 18th, 2011
10:38 PM ET

Fight to stop 'flash-mob' violence

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter tells CNN's John King how his city is fighting back against "flash mobs."

Filed under: Interview
August 18th, 2011
10:36 PM ET

Playing 'chess' with the GOP

CNN's John King and panel members talk about the GOP presidential candidates' strategies and priorities.

Filed under: 2012
August 18th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's Political Bullet Points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.

Senior Editor of Mario Solis-Marich:

– Declaring Victory: The White House has doubled down on it’s controversial Secure Communities program, it’s top Latina adviser, Cecilia Munoz, defended the program with half-truths and accused it’s Latino critics of using “heated rhetoric,” obviously the President’s advisers feel that 2012 is a shoe in, congratulations!

– Planning Victory: D.C. GOP insiders are buzzing about a potential Perry/Rubio ticket, while the Florida State Senator has stated he was not interested in the Presidency has anybody asked Rubio recently about his vice-presidential availability?

– Stealing Victory: When is the money from “Obama’s failed stimulus program” not the money from “Obama’s failed stimulus program”? When GOP Governors use it to balance their books.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Here is the biggest danger for Rick Perry right now. In 2006, Perry defeated Carole Strayhorn for the GOP's gubernatorial nomination. In 2010, Perry defeated Kay Bailey Hutchison for the GOP nomination. In each case, Perry won against various political consultants who, should Perry get the nomination, will not make the money they would with a Romney nomination. So when you start hearing comparisons to Barry Goldwater, etc. remember that a lot of the attacks come from consultants who are deeply, deeply afraid of what will happen to their livelihood should Perry beat them again.

– But, for you Perry fans, he is not the front runner. I hate to disappoint you. Mitt Romney has a pile of cash that Rick Perry can only dream of, an army of consultants who hate Rick Perry, and higher name ID. It will take a few weeks of polling to determine if Perry is now the front runner.

– Barack Obama hobnobbed with the homeless and jobless on his campaign bus tour he is making American taxpayers fund. Then he got on Air Force One and flew to Martha's Vineyard for vacation. Oh, he has a jobs plan. Just don't ask to see the details. He won't talk about it until after he gets back from vacation. In all honesty, given Obama and this Congress's track record – and how the stock market performs better when they are all out of town – maybe instead of begging them to come back and do something we should encourage them to stay as far away from the corridors of power as possible.

Editor’s Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.

Filed under: Bullet Points
Run While You Can: 100 Marathons in 60 Days
Source: Run While You Can
August 18th, 2011
12:30 PM ET

Run While You Can: 100 Marathons in 60 Days

By CNN's Bethany Crudele

Through the bloody knees of training, blistered feet and dehydration, Sam Fox is running to break a world record for one reason: His mother. "It's kind of like a big, 'I love you Mom.' I'm sure she'd rather I write a card than destroy my knees." At the end of August, Fox will begin one of the most challenging journeys of his life.

The 24-year-old Rhode Island native plans to run/hike all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to break the current speed record of 65 days. The Pacific Crest Trail stretches along the Western Seaboard from Canada to Mexico. Fox will cover more than 40 miles each day for two consecutive months with an average daily elevation gain and loss of over 16,000 feet.

Fox is running to honor his mother, Lucy, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 10 years ago. Fox is the founder of Run While You Can, a foundation which affirms that, "a healthy tomorrow is promised to anyone, by creating awareness and financial support for events that emphasize the urgency of living fully today." During his journey, he hopes to raise $250,000 dollars for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Part of his challenge will be fueling his body along the trail. “I don’t want to carry a bunch of pasta or bananas. That’s inefficient because I have to carry it all,” says Fox. “I’m going to rely on lightweight and high density foods like protein bars and muscle milk. Those are calories that will add up and they’ll add up fast.”

With less than two weeks before his start date, Fox is undergoing intense preparation. He splits his time between hours in a Berkeley, California gym and along rugged terrain for more intensive elevation training in places like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park. Fox says the preparation is, “more of a mind game than anything else.”

His regimen of intentional pre-trail dehydration and food depravation is a way of preparing his muscles for the difficulties he’ll encounter when he starts. “I know it’s not healthy. I don’t suggest anyone do it but the reason I do it is to feel terrible so I can call upon this feeling for motivation when I’m actually doing the run and things are hopefully going a lot better.”

Fox will be accompanied by an RV along 38 support points in order to replenish his food and water supply. The longest distance between support points will be 195 miles. Fox will be entirely reliant on himself to carry food, water and sleeping gear for the four day stretch.

Beyond the physical challenge of the trail, Fox will also be forced to follow a strict caloric diet with a minimum of 1000 calories at breakfast just to sustain his day’s activity. Lunch and snacks will be constant with foods like jerky, nuts and granola bars, followed by a 3,000 calorie dinner of powdered protein drinks, carbs and energy bars.

"I don't know how I decided on this. I've regretted it every now and then," he says. "I know 99% of the population can't relate to what I'm doing." Fox hopes this experience will aid in raising not only money, but awareness for Parkinson's disease.

Fox says his mother, Lucy – like many others suffering from the disease – is forced to take an abundance of medications, has trouble sleeping and deals with daily discomfort. “Yet, she is still so unmistakably herself. Her gardens certainly haven’t noticed that she’s sick. From potatoes to broccoli, pumpkins to garlic, cucumbers to tomatoes, it’s all there, it’s all healthy, it’s all perfectly tended,” he says. “You might think, on first and even second glance, that perhaps a team of 10 experts works around the clock weeding, trimming, mowing and watering… it’s just Mom (Dad mans the rototiller on the weekends) and her unmatched affinity for truly hard work.”

Gardening has always been a part of Lucy’s life, having grown up on a 60-acre farm in Connecticut, where she developed her craft. Until last year, she was selling self-grown flower arrangements to local supermarkets. “The fact that she still [gardens] daily says something about her resilience and drive to ignore her medical issues,” says Fox.

Fox still has quite a way to go before he reaches his fund-raising goals and more than 2,000 miles of trail ahead of him. To date, his fund-raising efforts have netted more than $70,000.

Fox says it’s the lessons of hard work and toughness –learned while helping tend to his mother’s flower beds and vegetable gardens— that will help him push through the long days and nights of solitude on the trail. “It’s those lessons that will carry me through cold, rain, blisters and breaks, steeps, mud and racking exhaustion, for 2,650 miles with at the least an ironic smile.”

To learn more about Run While You Can click here.

Posted by
Filed under: Uncategorized