New Jersey Real-Time News

    N.J. pets in need: March 18, 2019

    N.J. pets in need: March 18, 2019


    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption at shelters and rescues. Spring Boutique Vendor and Craft Show to benefit Montville Pet Parents and Montville Animal Shelter Montville Pet Parents will sponsor a...

    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption at shelters and rescues.

    Spring Boutique Vendor and Craft Show to benefit Montville Pet Parents and Montville Animal Shelter

    Montville Pet Parents will sponsor a Spring Boutique Vendor and Craft Show on April 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Montville Senior House.

    Shoppers will find items from specialty foods to children's and adult clothing, jewelry, cooking items and more. The event will also feature basket raffles; ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

    All proceeds benefit the care of animals at the Montville Animal Shelter.

    The Montville Senior House is located at 356 Route 202 in Montville, next to the public safety building.

    If you can't get to the event but want to make a tax-deductible donation, go to montvillepetparents.org or mail a donation to: Montville Pet Parents, PO Box 231, Pine Brook, NJ 07068.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    Vintage photos of hanging out in N.J.

    Vintage photos of hanging out in N.J.


    The fine art of doing nothing and having fun. It's a common theme in popular music - hanging out, looking for something to do. "Hanging out on Second Avenue, eating chicken vindaloo I just want to be with you, I just...

    The fine art of doing nothing and having fun.

    It's a common theme in popular music - hanging out, looking for something to do.

    "Hanging out on Second Avenue, eating chicken vindaloo
    I just want to be with you, I just want to have something to do" - "I Just Want to Have Something to Do" (1978) the Ramones

    "Hanging out, down the street, the same old thing we did last week.
    Not a thing to do, but talk to you" - "In the Street" (1992) Big Star

    "I don't mind you hanging out and talking in your sleep" - "Just What I Needed" (1978) the Cars

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    "Do you ever still think of me and the way that we used to be
    When the world was just you and me, hanging out in our shelter" - "Shelter" (2012) The Beach Boys

    "If you're in Charleston look out for a woman hanging out in a bright red Cadillac
    She took my money, she left me crying and I don't know will I ever make it back?" - "Yolanda" (1974) Bobby "Blue" Bland

    "We used to be best friends hanging out in the parking lot like the day would never end." - "Take Me Back" (2002) Lisa Loeb

    Here's a look at folks from throughout New Jersey just hanging out. And, here are links to other galleries you might enjoy.

    Vintage photos of 'hangin' out' in N.J.

    Vintage photos of people 'hangin' out' in N.J.

    Vintage N.J. candid photos

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    N.J. pets in need: March 11, 2019

    N.J. pets in need: March 11, 2019


    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption from shelters and rescues. Profile: Randolph Regional Animal Shelter   The Randolph Regional Animal Shelter, located in Mendham's India Brook Park at 97 Ironia...

    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption from shelters and rescues.

    Profile: Randolph Regional Animal Shelter

     

    The Randolph Regional Animal Shelter, located in Mendham's India Brook Park at 97 Ironia Road, is a 4,200-square-foot municipal facility. Formerly part of The Seeing Eye's kennel facilities, the shelter serves the towns of Mendham Township, Mendham Borough, Randolph, Rockaway Borough and Dover.

    It is operated by township staff and a core group of volunteers who have made it their mission to provide humane care for stray, abandoned and injured animals. They include Erika Barkman, head animal control officer and animal cruelty investigator, shelter manager Sunny Nowell, shelter assistant Christina Campanello, animal control officer Al Alpaugh and Claudine Cheung, president of the Friends of Randolph Animal Pound.

    While every animal taken in receives the best care possible, the ultimate goal of shelter personnel is to find a loving, stable home for each animal in its care.

    The facility features 26 dog runs, eight separate cat kennels and dedicated isolation and quarantine rooms with a separate HVAC system to prevent the spread of disease.

    Pets available for adoption may be seen at the shelter or previewed online at petfinder.com/member/us/nj/mendham/randolph-regional-animal-shelter-nj12/. The adoption fee is $50 for dogs and cats and $150 for kittens.

    For more information about the shelter and for directions, go to randolphregionalanimalshelter.org.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    Vintage photos of crimes and mysteries in N.J.

    Vintage photos of crimes and mysteries in N.J.


    Mysteries from a long time ago can still be solved with the assistance of tips, DNA technology and other forensic advances. On May 21, 1989, the television show "America's Most Wanted" presented a treatment of a case...

    Mysteries from a long time ago can still be solved with the assistance of tips, DNA technology and other forensic advances.

    On May 21, 1989, the television show "America's Most Wanted" presented a treatment of a case that had been unsolved for 18 years, John List's 1971 murder of his family in Westfield. Featured on the program was a bust by forensic artist Frank Bender depicting how he believed List would look at the time.

    It was a remarkable likeness; tips flooded in with one particular call from a former neighbor leading to List's arrest in Richmond, Virginia, only 10 days after the show aired.

    America's Most Wanted had been on the air for just over one season; this was its first mega-high profile capture and led to a network run of 23 years for the program.

    Not all crimes and mysteries result in such a conclusion. Among those included in this gallery are crimes that have never been solved.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    This is just a sampling of crimes and mysteries through the years in New Jersey. Included are a number of missing persons cases that are still unresolved; yet even after long periods, sometimes decades, the List case showed us that mysteries can be solved with the assistance of tips, DNA technology and other forensic advances.

    The New Jersey State Police maintain a website with unresolved missing persons cases at www.njsp.org/unidentified/; the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law has a page of links related to New Jersey cities and counties with unresolved cases at ncstl.org/education/newjersey.

    And check out these other historical galleries:

    This month in N.J. history: March

    This month in N.J. history: April

    This month in N.J. history: May

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    N.J. pets in need: March 4, 2019

    N.J. pets in need: March 4, 2019


    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption at shelters and rescues. Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey. If you run or work for a nonprofit animal...

    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption at shelters and rescues.

    Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey.

    If you run or work for a nonprofit animal shelter or rescue group, consider listing your dogs and cats in this weekly gallery.

    Participation in the gallery is free of charge for New Jersey shelters and rescues. You can submit one or two dogs and cats each week, with information similar to that shown in the captions.

    The "N.J. pets in need" gallery reaches tens of thousands or people throughout New Jersey every week and posts in all 21 county pages on nj.com. For more information on how to start appearing in this weekly gallery, please contact Greg Hatala at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    Vintage photos of food stores and bakeries in N.J.

    Vintage photos of food stores and bakeries in N.J.


    The places we went for eats and treats. Before supermarkets, people patronized a variety of stores to shop for the staples of daily life. Sometimes, in fact, staples were delivered to one's doorstep. Specialty food...

    The places we went for eats and treats.

    Before supermarkets, people patronized a variety of stores to shop for the staples of daily life. Sometimes, in fact, staples were delivered to one's doorstep.

    Specialty food stores have made a modern comeback, true, but it's an option for today's shopper. In "the old days" making separate stops at the butcher, baker, fishmonger, etc., was the only way to shop.

    My mother, who turned 94 in November, was kind enough to make a list of the places she and her mother went when she was a young girl. She also noted the businesses that made home deliveries.

    Photo courtesy of the Hatala family 

    The milkman would deliver fresh milk and cream. A trip to Zucca's Bakery was necessary for bread and, occasionally, bakery treats. The ice man would make regular deliveries because not many people owned an electric refrigerator at the time. The Morello meat truck would visit with fresh cuts and ground beef. My mother grew up on a poultry farm; the egg man would come by to pick up the daily output. A truck from Frasco and Cavallo brought chicken feed.

    The laundry man would come by to see if any dress clothes needed cleaning or mending. The insurance man would visit to collect payments. Mr. Lipman would stop by once a week with sewing needs - thread, needles and a selection of fabric. The fish man would also visit once a week, on Friday, of course. The newspaper would come daily and the coal company would come by regularly with deliveries.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    And each would bring news of what was going on around Vineland. Social media, 1930s style.

    Trips to town might include a visit to Morvay's Market for fresh produce and Friedman's Bakery for fresh rye bread.

    Some might say that these processes were far from the convenience of supermarkets. And I might answer that unscrewing the cap from a wine bottle is far more convenient than pulling a cork. Generations have come and gone that have never experienced a life like that. I'd say that's the cost of convenience.

    Here's a gallery of photos of vintage food stores and bakeries in New Jersey. And also, some links to similar galleries you'll enjoy.

    Vintage photos of small food stores in N.J.

    Vintage photos of ice cream and candy stores in N.J.

    Vintage photos of foods for every taste in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    Chris Christie's next stop: Sports Betting Hall of Fame

    Chris Christie's next stop: Sports Betting Hall of Fame


    Ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame. Chris Christie is headed to the Hall of Fame. The Sports Betting Hall of Fame, that is. According to a Forbes...

    Ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame.

    Chris Christie is headed to the Hall of Fame.

    The Sports Betting Hall of Fame, that is.

    According to a Forbes report, Christie is slated for election into the recently-founded Hall of Fame for the work he did to legalize sports gambling in the state of New Jersey.

    For his part in helping expand legal sports wagering, Christie is being inducted on April 25 in the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, which was founded by Sports Betting Community (SBC) in 2016. SBC is a media and events organization based in London that runs conferences and publishes websites covering the sports betting and casino industries.

    13 potential sidekicks for Mike Francesa

    Christie was out of office by the time sports gambling went into effect in New Jersey, but the work he did to help legalize the activity during his tenure isn't going unnoticed.

    The ceremony to induct this year's class--in which Christie will become the first person from the United States and first politician elected in--will take place in April 2019.

    The ceremony, at Manhattan's Sky Room rooftop bar, is coinciding with SBC's Betting on Sports America conference, which is taking place from April 23 through 25 in New Jersey and New York. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy is scheduled to give the keynote address on April 24 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J.

    Christe held office as New Jersey Governor from 2010-2018. After a brief stop at WFAN toward the end of his political tenure, Christie became a political correspondent for ABC News.

    Joe Giglio may be reached at jgiglio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGiglioSports. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    There's no vaccine for ignorant | Sheneman cartoon

    There's no vaccine for ignorant | Sheneman cartoon


    Vaccines work. They have always worked. If you don't vaccinate your children you are putting them, and others, at risk. Things we shouldn't have to say in 2019: -- Climate change is not a Chinese hoax -- White...

    Vaccines work. They have always worked. If you don't vaccinate your children you are putting them, and others, at risk.

    Things we shouldn't have to say in 2019:

    -- Climate change is not a Chinese hoax

    -- White nationalism is bad

    -- Vaccinate your damn kids

    The fact that we have to deal with measles as a public health risk, again, is ridiculous. Vaccines work. They have always worked. If you don't vaccinate your children you are putting them, and others, at risk. 

    That's what may be the most appalling aspect of parent's who selfishly decide not to vaccinate. Vaccine rely on herd immunity to protect the most vulnerable. There are people, mostly the young and elderly, who can't be vaccinated because of their health. These vulnerable people rely on the rest of us, the herd, not to carry around deadly diseases that were eradicated decades ago with a simple injection.

    Your refusal to vaccinate your child because some quack on the internet told you it may cause autism - it doesn't -is putting kids with real problems at risk. 

    Real scientists with decades of experience and mountains of data have proven that vaccines work. It's not like this information is hiding. The studies on vaccine efficacy are readily available for anyone who cares to read them.

    It might be more interesting to believe in some half-baked conspiracy theory you saw online but it's hurting your kid. Vaccines are not some big pharma scam to bilk you. The U.S. had trouble getting the pharmaceutical companies to produce enough vaccines because they are so unprofitable.

    Nobody is conspiring to poison your child. Keep them safe, get them vaccinated. 

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

    N.J. pets in need: Feb. 25, 2019

    N.J. pets in need: Feb. 25, 2019


    Pause for these paws in need of adoption. Profile: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter Courtesy of the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter  The South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter in Vineland is operated by the...

    Pause for these paws in need of adoption.

    Profile: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter

    Courtesy of the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter 

    The South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter in Vineland is operated by the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CCSPCA), a nonprofit organization founded in 1891 and incorporated in 1947.

    According to director of operations Kathleen Leary, "The SPCA was the only law enforcement agency authorized solely for the protection of animals. Each year our cruelty agents investigated nearly 1,000 reports of animal abuse and neglect. Many times we were able stop abuse through education, however, other cases require prosecuting the guilty parties." The shelter came about as part of these activities.

    In 2018, new legislation was enacted that dissolved the NJSPCA and its chapters and put the enforcement of state Anti-Animal Cruelty statues completely in the hands of the County Prosecutors' Office.

    The money to finance the current shelter comes from fees charged to municipalities to house their stray animals, fees charged to adopt, reclaim or release an animal to us, dues, donations, grants, fund-raisers and bequests from caring individuals.

    "Each year our humane education programs, offered free to schools and community groups, reach thousands, teaching basic pet care, safety and the understanding that all living creatures deserve our respect," said Leary. "Each year our clinic provides the general public and thousands of animals access to our low-cost spay and neuter services. In addition to sheltering and protecting animals, the shelter also acts as a clearinghouse for the thousands of phone calls requesting information on animal related issues and problems."

    The shelter is located at 1244 N. Delsea Drive and is open Monday and Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, go to southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    The national emergency that wasn't | Sheneman cartoon

    The national emergency that wasn't | Sheneman cartoon


    The notion that a democratic president might invoke national emergency powers to address a real issue like gun violence or climate change is the kind of thing that wakes Mitch McConnell up screaming in the middle of the night....

    The notion that a democratic president might invoke national emergency powers to address a real issue like gun violence or climate change is the kind of thing that wakes Mitch McConnell up screaming in the middle of the night.

    The GOP is nothing if not sly. They are also well organized. Over the past 30 years they have systematically loaded the judiciary with conservative jurists, and don't even get me started on the gerrymandering.

    The grand old party has the ability to see years into the future, that's why they're so damned scared of the precedent set by the toddler president and his big, dumb national emergency wall

    The Republican Party is aware that Trump is massively unpopular, they are aware of the butt whooping they took in the midterms and they are acutely aware of the 2020 election. The chances of retaining power, even with an incumbent president, are fraught.

    If Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris or, heaven's forbid, Elizabeth Warren manage to get themselves elected, the notion that they might invoke the presidential national emergency powers to address a real issue like gun violence or climate change is the kind of thing that wakes Mitch McConnell up screaming in the middle of the night. 

    There are plenty of Republicans who would be delighted to see the president's attempt to circumvent congress and self-appropriate money for his slats struck down by the courts.

    Luckily for them, the constitution, seems to be pretty clear on the matter of the government's purse strings. Congress is charged with making appropriations, imaginary border crisis not withstanding.

    Have they packed the lower courts with enough Heritage Foundation acolytes to get the big boy president his wall? Hopefully, it takes a few years to figure that particular question out. 

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

    Vintage photos of school days in N.J.

    Vintage photos of school days in N.J.


    "School is a building with four walls - with tomorrow inside." - Lon Watters This gallery features a handful of vintage photos of school days in New Jersey. Although it includes snapshots of public and parochial...

    "School is a building with four walls - with tomorrow inside." - Lon Watters

    This gallery features a handful of vintage photos of school days in New Jersey. Although it includes snapshots of public and parochial school students, I thought it might be interesting to share a timeline of some important actions in public education in New Jersey. (Sources: New Jersey School Boards Association, New Jersey Department of Education)

    *    In 1855, there were 29 townships with free (public) schools. The State Board of Education was established in 1866; rules for teacher certification were established the following year. Most classes during this time period had 45 to 50 pupils in the room, and some had as many as 72.

    *    In 1871, the State Legislature passed an act making all of the public schools in New Jersey entirely free. New Jersey became the last state in the nation to abolish rate bills and tuition payments. In 1894, a law was passed requiring districts to pay for textbooks and instructional materials, making public schools truly free.

    *    In 1900, kindergarten was made part of the public school system.

    *    It became mandatory in 1907 for each district to provide school facilities for children between the ages of 5 and 20, as many had not yet established high schools.

    *    New Jersey was the first state in the country, in 1909, to enact a tenure law to govern the hiring and firing of school employees.

    *    In 1910 a law was adopted mandating special education for children who were judged to be three or more years below "normal."

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    *    Spurred on by the low standards of physical fitness observed among entrants to the U.S. Army during World War I, the state passed a law in 1917 establishing physical training for all school pupils except kindergarten students.

    *    New Jersey's collective bargaining law was amended in 1968 to include employees in the public sector, including school employees.

    *    In 1985, the State Legislature set the minimum teacher salary at $18,500; the law on the books for decades had set it at $2,500, although it had not been adhered to. Prior to the legislation, the average starting salary for a teacher was $14,900.

    Here's a gallery of photos of school days in New Jersey. And also, some links to similar galleries you'll enjoy.

    Vintage photos of another school year in N.J.

    Vintage photos of returning to school in N.J.

    Vintage photos of education in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    The governor is acting shady | Sheneman cartoon

    The governor is acting shady | Sheneman cartoon


    The governor is insisting on enforcing non-disclosure agreements, or gag orders, on the women accusing his campaign of wrongdoing. That's pretty gross. The scandal around the governor's handling of sexual assault...

    The governor is insisting on enforcing non-disclosure agreements, or gag orders, on the women accusing his campaign of wrongdoing. That's pretty gross.

    The scandal around the governor's handling of sexual assault allegations in his campaign continues to grow, mostly because he's letting it. Despite running on promises of transparency in government, the Murphy administration has proven to be incredibly tight lipped when it comes to addressing the incredibly serious accusations made by multiple women who worked for his campaign.

    The scandal continues to dog the governor and he's starting to get testy when he's questioned about it. The truth might go a long way toward getting people off his back.

    The governor is insisting on enforcing non-disclosure agreements, or gag orders, on the women accusing his campaign of wrongdoing. That's pretty gross. Not only did he not address the allegations when they were made, but his office helped promote the accused and stonewalled any attempts to learn what actually happened.

    His justification for this injustice is that if the victims were allowed to speak freely they might spill the recipe to the secret sauce that led him to a resounding victory in the election. Allow me to ruin it for them:

    You won because you were a rich guy willing to spend fat cash, and your opponent was a grapefruit taped to a mop. There are no brilliant political insights, no proprietary information that requires the level of security the governor is giving it. Your race was a gimme.

    Chris Christie, the least popular governor in the history of governors, is a Republican and you are a Democrat. People voted for you and they still don't know who you are. Give up the charade and let these women speak. 

     Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook. Get the latest updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com's newsletters.

    N.J. pets in need: Feb. 18, 2019

    N.J. pets in need: Feb. 18, 2019


    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption. Courtesy of New Beginnings Animal Rescue  New Beginnings Animal rescue in East Brunswick has announced that it will be closing its location at 706R Cranbury...

    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    Courtesy of New Beginnings Animal Rescue 

    New Beginnings Animal rescue in East Brunswick has announced that it will be closing its location at 706R Cranbury Road.

    Barbara Keegan, New Beginnings president and shelter director, noted that the nonprofit group had been at the Cranbury Road location since February 2014 and will relocate to a yet-to-be-named space in the near future.

    "Without the overhead and expense of operating at this location we will be able to expand our areas of community outreach," said Keegan, "by stepping up our assistance with Trap/Neuter/Return programs, offering a community pet food bank for needy families and rescue groups and providing referral assistance for pet issues."

    Keegan pointed out that the rescue will not be leaving the current facility until every animal in its care is placed in a home. New Beginnings will continue to rescue animals, utilizing foster homes until a new location is opened.

    For more information and future updates, go to nbarnj.org.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    Vintage photos of everyday items from the '60s and '70s you might have forgotten

    Vintage photos of everyday items from the '60s and '70s you might have forgotten


    We didn't even give them a second thought. I recall a point made in the 1970s that was meant to illustrate how quickly technology advanced in the 20th century - how someone who was 10 years old when man first...

    We didn't even give them a second thought.

    I recall a point made in the 1970s that was meant to illustrate how quickly technology advanced in the 20th century - how someone who was 10 years old when man first achieved powered flight watched man walk on the moon at age 76.

    The Texas Instruments TI30 calculator, introduced in 1976.Courtesy of Distejon 

    But, if you look at a 75-year stretch in any century since the 1700s, you'll see similar leaps for mankind. I'd argue that space flight, while amazing, doesn't necessarily supersede other advancements of humankind in industry, inventions or ideas.

    For example, on that spacecraft that landed on the moon, there was a guidance computer that had, according to consumereports.org, exactly 64 kilobytes of memory and a microprocessor speed of 0.043 megahertz. The latest iPhone can be purchased with 512 GIGAbytes of memory, and if my math is right, that's 536,870,912 kilobytes. Its microprocessor operates at 2.49 GIGAhertz and let's just say that's the difference between walking and the speed of light.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    And that was in less than 50 years.

    As time flies by, it's easy to forget things that were matter-of-fact parts of our lives in the 1960s and 1970s, when Apollo missions were going to the moon with those teensy computers. Here's another installment of things that may have slipped from our memory ... and I don't know about you, but my memory isn't measured in giga, mega or kilobytes - it just bites.

    And here are links to other galleries you'll like.

    Vintage photos of things you may have forgotten about

    Vintage photos of things that have changed - for better or worse

    Vintage photos of how things have changed in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

    Who had the better night in El Paso: Donald Trump or Beto O'Rourke?

    Who had the better night in El Paso: Donald Trump or Beto O'Rourke?


    The president spent much of his rally poking fun at O'Rourke, claiming he had only drawn a few hundred supporters to Trump's tens of thousands. President Donald Trump and erstwhile Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke...

    The president spent much of his rally poking fun at O'Rourke, claiming he had only drawn a few hundred supporters to Trump's tens of thousands.

    President Donald Trump and erstwhile Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke held competing rallies in El Paso, with a potential government shutdown and the unfinished border wall looming in the background. Trump spent much of his rally poking fun at O'Rourke, erroneously claiming he had only drawn a few hundred supporters to Trump's tens of thousands. Yet, as his numbers were proven false -- again -- and his border wall plan was once again rejected, O'Rourke seemed to be more presidential. What do you think?

    PERSPECTIVES

    Throughout the rally, Trump referenced O'Rourke's counter-rally. Per NPR

    Trump seemed especially attuned to and plenty sensitive about the split-screen image of the rally O'Rourke, El Paso's former congressman, was holding outside in the heavily Democratic city. Exaggerating, as he's prone to do, about his crowd size, Trump claimed that O'Rourke had only drawn 200 or 300 to his protest while they had 35,000 people trying to get into his. "That may be the end of his presidential bid," Trump said, mocking O'Rourke as "a young man who's got very little going for himself except a great first name."

    However, Trump's claims were quickly proven incorrect. 

    El Paso police estimate a crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 for the anti-Trump, anti-wall, pro-O'Rourke march and rally tonight.

    -- Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 12, 2019

    Trump's entire camp, including his son, poked fun at O'Rourke throughout the night. 

    Beto trying to counter-program @realdonaldtrump in his hometown and only drawing a few hundred people to Trump's 35,000 is a really bad look.

    Partial pic of the Trump overflow crowd below! #AnyQuestions pic.twitter.com/PKxkbcFNFO

    -- Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 12, 2019

    Many pundits said comparing Trump's swipes at O'Rourke with the El Paso native's focus on the good of the nation put the former Congressman in a much more positive light. Per Vanity Fair

    O'Rourke, meanwhile, came off sounding downright presidential. "With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand, here in one of the safest cities in the United States of America," O'Rourke told a roaring crowd. "Safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls. Secure because we treat one another with dignity and respect." After months of aimless ennui following his narrow loss to Ted Cruz in the midterms, the rally appeared to energize O'Rourke. "Yeah, I'm back in the mix," he told Politico before going onstage. "All of us right now have a responsibility to do all that we can, and this is me doing my best."

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