A new Pew poll finds Americans in a bad mood about, well, everything | Friday Morning Coffee

Rome, if you want to (Image by pxHere.com)

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
We hate to be a downer on the final day of the working week, when most of you are looking ahead to a steady 48 hours of having your carefully filled out NCAA tournament brackets completely annihilated.

So we’ll quickly drop this latest morsel of polling data from the folks at the Pew Research Center so you can get about with preparing to curse at the big screen and put in an order of 80-count sweet thai chili boneless wings.

Looking ahead to 2050, Pew researchers found that “majorities of Americans foresee a country with a burgeoning national debt, a wider gap between the rich and the poor and a workforce threatened by automation.”

And …“Majorities predict that the economy will be weaker, health care will be less affordable, the condition of the environment will be worse and older Americans will have a harder time making ends meet than they do now. Also predicted: a terrorist attack as bad as or worse than 9/11 sometime over the next 30 years,” Pew researchers wrote.

Here, then, in one chart, our national malaise:

As the Pew folks note, “these grim predictions mirror, in part, the public’s sour mood about the current state of the country. The share of Americans who are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country – seven-in-ten in January of 2019 – is higher now than at any time in the past year.”

On the upside, Americans are also looking ahead to “major changes in the country’s political leadership. Nearly nine-in-ten predict that a woman will be elected president, and roughly two-thirds (65 percent) say the same about a Hispanic person. And, on a decidedly optimistic note, more than half expect a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by 2050,” pollsters wrote.

With that in mind we’ll leave you with this admonition from the Stoic philosopher Seneca,which seems particularly germane:  “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

Our Stuff:
Elizabeth Hardison catches up with state Sen. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster, who’s had a rethink on a controversial teacher evaluation bill he helped shepherd into law.  Now the Senate Education Committee chairman, Aument thinks the law needs to be fixed.
Stephen Caruso has the lowdown on a bipartisan bill that would level out nursing staffing ratios and ease the workload for overworked and overtired nurses.
Caruso also caught up with House Democratic leaders who pulled a shift in the Capitol cafeteria to call attention to a higher minimum wage.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., field-tripped it to York to tout a bill aimed at fighting fentanyl trafficking.

On the Opinion side of the house, a Michigan State University scholar wonders why, when the country needs more teachers of color, America makes it so hard for them to get into the classroom. Common Cause’s Micah Sims has a few thoughts on … this will surprise you … gerrymandering and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A judge will make the call on whether AI spotted fake petitions in Philly council racesCloutreports.
The Pa. Turnpike is on a ‘road to ruin,’ Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says – PennLive has the story.
On the stand, cop Michael Rosfeld says he shot unarmed teen Antwon Rose to ‘protect his community,’ The Post-Gazette reports.
The Tribune-Review has its own take on the story.
A new think-tank in Philly will push insurance companies to recognize that ‘food is medicine,’ BillyPenn reports.

What Happens on Twitter:

The Incline tries to divine how much it snowed in Pittsburgh this winter.
Access to water is a problem across the country, particularly for minorities and rural residentsWHYY-FM reports.
WPSU-FM looks at how security concerns are driving school construction projects.
A sheriff’s sale of PPL Plaza in downtown Allentown has been put off until early April, The Morning Call reports.

Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:

Democratic National Committee vice chair Michael Blake will headline Pa. Dems’ quarterly dinner in Hershey on Saturday night, PoliticsPA reports.
When it comes to political ads, do candidates have a constitutional right to lie? Stateline.orghas the story.
Former Obama donors are getting ready to power up Joe Biden’s campaign, Politico reports.

It’s a busy Friday for Pennsylvania’s chief executive. At 10 a.m., Gov. Tom Wolf does an interview on Radio Times on WHYY-FM in Philadelphia. At 11 a.m., Wolf and state Treasurer Joe Torsella head to a child care center to launch a new program aimed at helping parents save for their kids’ higher education. And at 1:15 p.m., he’s at a Walgreens on South Broad Street to talk about efforts to fight the opioid epidemic.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out to long-time Friend O’The Blog, Chris Brennan, of Camp Hill, and Rob Tornoe, of Philly.com, both of whom celebrate today. Congrats and enjoy the day, gents.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s something dance-y by Rudimental to ease you into the weekend. It’s ‘Toast to Our Differences.’

Friday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Carolina dropped a 6-3 decision to Tampa on Thursday night, losing some ground in the wild card race. Today’s another day, lads.

And now you’re up to date.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.


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