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Herman: Yes, you built that!

Contrary to what Obama thinks, building a business is hard work.

When President Obama arrogantly said "you didn't build that" during one of his many speeches, businessmen and businesswomen all over America were offended and outraged. It was crystal clear at that point that the president of the United States of America was clueless as to how a business is started and how a business survives. 

The principles for start-up and survival are essentially the same in business. Some Democrats don't know these principles, and many others simply ignore the principles in their quest to win votes, because they know a lot of voters are uninformed and others are gullible.

For example, since the president and the Democrats forced ObamaCare down the throats of the American people based on lies and a severely flawed understanding of health care, businesses and families have been the ones suffering the negative consequences. Democrats and the mainstream media choose to just not talk about that. They believe that many uninformed and gullible voters will forget about the topic and the lies by Election Day.

Or, when government mandates an increase in the minimum wage, some businesses are pushed over the edge and people lose their jobs. Uninformed voters think businesses resist the mandated increase because business people are just greedy. No, they are trying to save jobs and operate their businesses wisely.

But successful businesses, as well as start-up businesses that survive these attacks by the force of law have at least three major things in common.

First, they have a good idea!   

The basic concept of a business "finding a need and filling it" is timeless. People don't need a product or service they already have. You may be able to carve out a small amount of success by offering a better price for the same product or service, but price alone will not allow you to succeed long term. Of course there are exceptions such as Walmart, which has consistently achieved a good balance between price and quality.

So one of the first things to do in starting or growing a business is to analyze the market and the competition to assess the potential opportunity. The more competitors there are already in that product space, the more difficult it will be to get some long-term traction.

This does not mean hiring an expensive market analysis firm like many well established large companies will do. It means doing as much homework as you can on the Internet, on foot, or even on premise of a future competitor. 

My favorite example is when someone asks me what they should do to open a new restaurant concept. My answer is to go and work in a restaurant and learn what to do and what not to do while getting paid to learn. The restaurant industry is a mature industry, which means the successful survivors have refined their "recipe" for success. 

Secondly, stay focused!

Too many people try to do too much, too fast, with too little resources. That was the problem with Godfather's Pizza, Inc. when I became its president in 1986 as it was spiraling into bankruptcy. We refocused the company on the original product quality, simplified the operations, and emphasized service at a much higher level.  It is still around today in parts of the country even though I moved on in 1996 to other challenges. In other words, do what you do best first, before you tinker with other stuff.

Staying focused also means that is where you direct and spend most of your time and talent. I've always put family first, but beware of distractions from other people and other things that do not contribute to the success of your business. Helping others is fine, and I have often done it, but you can't help everybody, especially if you are struggling to survive or start a business.

Thirdly, plan for the unexpected!

For many businesses this means accumulating enough capital (cash) to withstand a business "slow start" or "slow down". Failing to do this is often called under-capitalization. Some people may be able to start or grow a business on a shoestring budget, but that's the rare exception rather than the rule.

You should also plan on some mistakes in hiring people. Some people can sound good and look good, but they can't deliver results or consistently do their job. As the well-known management "guru" Peter Drucker once said, when you realize you have made a people mistake, fix it quickly. Don't make a knee-jerk decision, but carefully analyze that person's performance. Remember, you are not in the career rehabilitation business.

There are obviously a lot more specifics to starting or growing a business, and a lot more to the specifics of a particular business. That's why it is also advisable to develop a detailed business plan to help measure success and systematically make changes as needed, and there will be changes, so try to make sure they are smart changes.

But from 50,000 feet (some call it a strategic perspective), if you fail to consider one or all of these principles, then don't expect a soft landing. It will be painful and costly.

And when you do succeed, you took the risks! You made the investment of time and money, and you turned sweat equity into success!

Yes! You built that!

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  • The Latest on the Republican legislation overhauling the Obama health care law (all times EDT): 7:15 p.m. Threats of opposition from three Republican senators are casting doubt on whether GOP leaders have enough support to move ahead on the Senate health care bill. The Senate has to hold a procedural vote to move forward, most likely on Wednesday. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tweeted after the Congressional Budget Office analysis on Monday that the Senate bill won't fix the flaws in the current bill. She says she will vote no on the 'motion to proceed.' Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says he has 'a hard time believing I'll have enough information for me to support a motion to proceed this week.' Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says it's worse to 'pass a bad bill than to pass no bill.' Republicans can't afford more than two defections. ___ 6:35 p.m. The White House says the Congressional Budget Office's projection that 22 million more people will be uninsured in 2026 'must not be trusted blindly.' The White House is again trying to undermine the analysis of the CBO, questioning the office's predictions that millions of more Americans would be uninsured under a Senate health care proposal compared with President Barack Obama's health care law. The White House says the CBO 'has consistently proven it cannot accurately predict how health care legislation will impact insurance coverage.' It says the office has a 'history of inaccuracy,' and cites its 'flawed report on coverage, premiums and predicted deficit arising out of Obamacare.' ___ 6:30 p.m. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono is decrying the Republican health care bill as 'mean, ugly' a day ahead of her own surgery. Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Hirono says people typically figure health insurance is a concern for someone else until they get sick. Hirono announced in May that she was being treated for kidney cancer. She says she will have surgery Tuesday to remove a lesion on her rib. But first she joined several Democratic senators in criticizing the GOP health care bill, saying it was a 'tax cut for the rich bill.' Hirono says health care is a right, not a privilege. And in light of the budget analysis that found 22 million more Americans would be uninsured, Hirono says, 'it's as bad as we thought.' ___ 6 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is focusing on the tax cuts, deficit reduction and lower premiums cited in a nonpartisan analysis of the Senate's health care bill, and making no mention of the 22 million more Americans who would be uninsured. McConnell put out a brief statement Monday after the release of the Congressional Budget Office report. He says Americans need relief from the 'failed Obamacare law,' and says the Senate will soon act on a bill to give Americans better care. The Kentucky Republican says the bill would lower premiums by 30 percent in 2020, cut taxes by $700 billion and reduce the deficit by $331 billion. His statement omits any mention of the CBO prediction that 22 million more Americans would be uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama's health care law. ___ 4:20 p.m. The Senate health care bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law. That's according to an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The figure may further complicate Senate GOP leaders' plans to pass their bill this week. It's barely an improvement upon the health care bill that passed the House — which would have resulted in 23 million more uninsured. Several GOP senators have said they want to see their bill cover more people than the House version. And President Donald Trump himself called the House bill 'mean' — though he's lent his support to the Senate version and is lobbying for passage. ___ 2:15 p.m. The nation's largest doctors' group is outlining its opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill. The American Medical Association sent a letter Monday to Senate leaders saying the draft legislation violates the medical oath to 'first, do no harm.' The letter says the Republican plan is likely to lead to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care for low- and middle-income patients. The doctors' group says the Senate bill's Medicaid payment formulas threaten to 'limit states' ability to address the health care needs of their most vulnerable citizens' and won't keep up with new medical innovations and epidemics such as the opioid addiction crisis. The letter is signed by Dr. James L. Madara, the group's CEO. The AMA has about a quarter-million members. __ 2 p.m. One of the nation's biggest health insurers says the Senate health care bill will 'markedly improve' the individual insurance market's stability and moderate premium hikes. Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem says the bill will help in part by appropriating money for cost-sharing reduction payments and eliminating a health insurance tax. Cost-sharing reduction payments help cover expenses like deductibles for people with modest incomes. President Donald Trump has discussed ending these payments, and insurers planning to return to the exchanges next year want a guarantee that the payments also will return. Anthem Inc. sells coverage in key markets like New York and California. It has said tough market conditions have forced it to pull out of exchanges in three states for 2018: Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana. __ 1:10 p.m. Senate Republicans have issued a revised version of their health care bill. The changes include a penalty for people who let their insurance lapse. Under the new package, people who lacked coverage for at least 63 days in the past year and then buy a policy would face a six-month delay before it takes effect. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his initial measure last week. It had no penalty for people who let their coverage expire. The waiting period is designed to prompt healthy people who might not otherwise buy insurance to do so. That helps insurance companies pay for sicker customers who are more expensive to cover. McConnell is hoping to push the measure through the Senate by the end of this week, but some Republicans are rebelling. __ 12:55 p.m. An outside group backing President Donald Trump will begin targeting more Republican holdouts on the Senate's health care bill. America First Policies is expanding its campaign against Nevada Sen. Dean Heller to include Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. Those lawmakers came out against the bill as written when it was made public last week. A senior official with America First Policies says online and social media ads will remind voters that Republicans have promised to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation. The official demanded anonymity to discuss the plan. The group also is preparing radio and television ads to run ahead of the vote, which could come at the end of this week. — Julie Bykowicz __ 11:19 a.m. A conservative Republican senator who doesn't back the GOP health care bill is using unusually sharp tones to criticize party leaders. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is accusing top Republicans of trying to jam the legislation through the Senate. He says the leadership effort is 'a little offensive' and says conservatives haven't had input into the proposal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation last week rolling back much of President Barack Obama's health care law. Johnson is among four conservatives and a moderate who said they don't back the measure but haven't ruled out supporting it if it's changed. McConnell is working this week to make revisions to win over votes. The bill will win approval if just two of the 52 Senate Republicans support it. All Democrats oppose it. __ 10:54 a.m. A nonpartisan group representing Republican and Democratic state officials who administer Medicaid programs says the GOP health care legislation advancing toward a Senate vote will not work. In a strongly worded statement that reflects the 'unanimous' views of its board, the National Association of Medicaid Directors said the Republican health care bill would be 'a transfer of risk, responsibility, and cost to the states of historic proportions.' While the group's members differ over the concept of federal spending limits on the health program for low-income people, the board agreed that the inflation adjustments in the Senate bill 'are insufficient and unworkable.' Medicaid has become perhaps the key sticking point in the congressional debate. The group said Congress should focus on stabilizing insurance markets for now, and tackle Medicaid overhaul later in a more thoughtful manner. __ 2:54 a.m. Senate Republicans skeptical about a GOP health overhaul bill are expressing some doubt about holding a vote on the measure this week. Lawmakers are awaiting a key analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. President Donald Trump is making a final push to fulfill a key campaign promise, insisting that Republicans are not 'that far off' and signaling that last-minute changes are coming to win votes. So far, five Republican senators are expressing opposition to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law. That's more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The holdouts are expressing willingness to negotiate, but many of them are pushing revisions that could risk alienating moderate Republicans in the process.
  • Police are looking for the person who sprayed bullets into a home filled with children. Newnan police told Channel 2 Action News that four girls were inside the home on Reynolds Street having a sleepover when someone outside fired a gun into the home around 11:30 p.m. Two of the girls, both 11, were hit by gunfire. 'We ask you to have a heart, understand that we want to speak to you. We will hopefully track down leads and locate you and this is your opportunity to come forward and let us know what happened in your own words,' Newnan Deputy Police Chief Mark Cooper said. Kocoyo Elder, who lives in the neighborhood, was home watching TV with her grandkids when she heard the gunshots. 'We paused the TV and we heard the sirens, and we came on the porch and saw a lot of police and there were a lot of people walking this way,' she said as she described the scene to Channel 2's Lori Wilson. One of the girls was hit in the cheek. The other was shot in the thigh. They were taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Both are listed as stable. TRENDING STORIES: From Mexico to metro Atlanta: Bust nets $1M in meth, $250K in cash Teen missing for more than a year found at Duluth home Police continue to search for duo seen punching woman, daughter One of the girl's mothers was home at the time. 'When you arrive and you find that two 11-year-old girls were enjoying a sleepover with family and friends and they've been shot now, that tugs at your heart,' Cooper said. Investigators believe the gun used was a 9mm. Police were able to count seven bullet holes in the home. 'I couldn't sleep until I got up this morning and knew they were OK,' one of the mothers said. Neighbors are hoping for justice, but worry about an attempt at retaliation. 'It grieves my spirit knowing that two young ladies could have possibly lost their life in this area. That's not right,' said Pastor Render Godfrey, who lives in the area. More than anything, they want the violence to stop. One neighbor, who asked Wilson to use her first name Jackie, says she constantly worries living in this area. 'I've been terrified for years because every other month there's always something going on,' she said.
  • The son of former Atlanta Braves infielder Keith Lockhart is fighting for his life after he was hit in the face with a baseball.According to a post by the family on social media, Jason Lockhart, 15, was hit on June 17 when he was playing in a baseball tournament in South Carolina.Channel 2 Action News has learned when Lockhart touched home plate, the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher. It hit Jason in the face, breaking his nose.In a Facebook post written by his sister, we learned Jason was initially given stitches but on June 19 when he visited the doctor's office for X-rays, his nose began to bleed profusely. Doctors could not stop the bleeding and even after going to urgent care, he was ultimately taken to the Scottish Rite hospital in Atlanta.A CT scan determined the fracture was more severe than doctors originally thought. The results showed a laceration on his artery. Sydney Lockhart says a surgeon was brought in to stitch up a laceration in his nose and reset his broken nose the next day.In an update on Wednesday, Sydney Lockhart wrote that an artery was cut by the fracture and Jason was sedated for two days. He was put on a ventilator to help his body rest but the bleeding continued.On Friday, he was heavily sedated in a paralytic state and put on life support so doctors could monitor and contain any bleeding. In Facebook post written by his mother, she said doctors determined the blood was coming from his nose, not his brain. Jason also developed a fever, which doctors say is common when the body is fighting a condition as severe as this.Jason was originally scheduled to have surgery Monday but doctors have moved it to Tuesday according to his sister's Facebook page. Sydney Lockhart says although there was no bleeding since Sunday's surgery, his body is responding a bit slower than anticipated. Doctors are also backing off several medications, according to the post written Monday afternoon.The procedure is to remove and replace packing in his nose and will closely look inside to figure out if there is an area behind the packing that could cause more bleeding. TRENDING STORIES: From Mexico to metro Atlanta: Bust nets $1M in meth, $250K in cash Teen missing for more than a year found at Duluth home Police continue to search for duo seen punching woman, daughter Support has been flooding social media with messages from inside the baseball community to friends and family.Keith Lockhart played several seasons for the Braves.Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz issued a statement on Twitter offering prayers for Jason and his family and encouraged fans to do the same.The family asks for prayers and support saying:We are really staying positive that this is the best way to give Jason the most comfort possible and the least stress. Thank you again for standing with us in the biggest and scariest situation our family has ever encountered. With Love and Appreciation, The Lockhart family Our top 3 requests or goals right now are: 1. Keeping Jason at this calm paralytic state with no movements 2. No bleeding 3. Making it to Monday and letting Jason's body do all the clotting itself Thanks so much for all the outpouring prayers & support for Jay. It's been rough, a few surgeries but we're confident he's going to be ok.-- Keith Lockhart (@klocky7) June 24, 2017 Jason had a good night last night still had some bleeding but manageable no surgery. Hoping and praying for the same today.#staystrongJ-- Keith Lockhart (@klocky7) June 24, 2017 Jason just came out of surgery Dr.'s located 3 areas of bleeding &stopped the flow of blood. We are all encouraged about today!#staystrongJ-- Keith Lockhart (@klocky7) June 25, 2017 I don't think y'all understand how much of a champion this child is 💛 pic.twitter.com/TaGn7XPFq5-- syds (@SydneyLockhart) June 21, 2017 Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz statement on Jason Lockhart, son of Braves alumni @klocky7: pic.twitter.com/JiIxyZgoN1-- Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 26, 2017
  • The Latest on a retracted CNN story about a supposed investigation in a Donald Trump associated and the head of a Russian investment fund (all times local): 8 p.m. CNN says it has accepted the resignations of three employees involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story was posted Thursday on CNN's website. It was retracted the next night, and CNN apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member named in the story. CNN said the story didn't meet its editorial standards. A network executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues, said Monday that story author Thomas Frank resigned. Also losing their jobs are Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor at the organization's Washington bureau, and Lex Harris, head of the investigations unit. ___ 10:50 a.m. CNN wasn't saying Monday what led it to retract a story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story posted Thursday on CNN's website said Senate investigators are looking into the meeting between Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Trump's transition team, and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev. On Friday night, CNN removed the story, saying it did not meet the news organization's standards. CNN apologized to Scaramucci. It was unclear whether the story by reporter Thomas Frank appeared on any of CNN's television networks.
  • The deaths of 79 people in a London apartment tower have triggered emergency inspections, evacuations and soul searching among British officials who failed to prevent the tragedy. But fire-safety experts say governments and builders around the world should take notice, because the fire at Grenfell Tower is just the latest in a string of deadly blazes that demonstrate how building regulations have failed to keep up with changing materials and cuts in inspections and oversight mean problems aren't spotted until it is too late. The Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, California, made headlines in December, when 36 people were killed in a warehouse that had been illegally converted into living spaces and a music venue. In September, 33 people died in a fire at a packaging plant in Bangladesh. 'They are a collective example of how, either intentionally or accidentally, the fire prevention and protection system has been broken,' said Jim Pauley, president of the National Fire Protection Association, which develops fire codes used in the U.S. and around the world. 'A system that the public believes exists and counts on for their safety — through complacency, bad policy and placing the economics of construction over safety — has let them down.' The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire shows that the faults that led to the disaster are not isolated. The government is scrambling to test panels similar to those used at Grenfell Tower, and has found at least 75 buildings covered in similarly flammable material. Thousands of people have been evacuated from four high-rises in north London after inspectors found fire-safety problems, including faulty fire doors. The city of Birmingham has decided to install sprinklers in all its public housing towers — four years after coroners investigating deadly fires suggested this be done throughout the country. John Bonney, a former chief officer for the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, regrets that it took a disaster to trigger action. Seven years ago, Bonney vowed to improve conditions after two of his firefighters died in a blaze in a high-rise apartment building in Southampton. 'I call it tombstone legislation — it appears after significant losses of life,' Bonney said. The residents of Grenfell Tower didn't realize the danger they faced when they went to bed June 13. A fire that started in a refrigerator just after midnight quickly spread throughout the 24-story tower. As firefighters arrived, flames were shooting up the outside of the building, trapping residents inside. 'How is that even possible?!' one incredulous firefighter asked in a cell-phone video captured as his engine approached the tower. While the investigation is still underway, fire experts believe part of the answer may be the aluminum composite material recently attached to the outside of the building. The material, essentially two thin sheets of aluminum around a layer of insulation, has been used for decades, but its popularity has grown in recent years because it offers a relatively inexpensive way to save energy and beautify buildings. Experts have warned about risks posed by the panels for years because some varieties use highly flammable plastic foam insulation, which can rapidly spread fires once it ignites, as previously seen in Australia, China and Dubai. Even panels rated fire-resistant can be dangerous if they aren't properly installed. Bonney argues that rules aren't strict enough and that efforts to tighten fire-safety rules have been stymied by the government's drive to reduce the burden of regulation on business. 'The U.K. has prided itself with having a good fire protection record, so why has that happened?' said Bonney. 'One of the reasons is the technology that is now being used in building materials and building fabrics has outstripped the codes and standards in practice.' And the rules that do exist can't be effective if they aren't enforced. Government statistics show that the number of fire-safety inspections in England dropped by 25 percent from 2011 to 2016. Some 367 people died in fires across the U.K. last year, up 12 percent from two years earlier but still down from the 407 recorded in 2011. That came as Conservative-led governments reduced funding for fire departments by 30 percent, cutting 10,000 firefighting jobs across the country, according to the Fire Brigades Union. The party has overseen seven years of austerity as it seeks to reduce Britain's debts following the global financial crisis. Residents of Grenfell Tower complained about fire-safety concerns for at least four years prior to the disaster. The Confederation of Fire Protection Associations International issued a broad warning after the Grenfell Tower fire that says those who design and build structures should embrace fire protection as a fundamental consideration in their work, even in the absence of strong governmental oversight. The group includes fire-safety officials from 28 countries, including China, India and South Africa, as well as the U.S. and most European nations. But relying on voluntary commitment to reduce fire risks may not be enough, particularly when all sides involved in a project, from private contractors to local authorities, are trying to limit costs. For example, among the issues facing Britain is whether to require older high-rise apartment buildings to be retrofitted with sprinklers. Grenfell Tower, completed in 1974, didn't have sprinklers. Four years ago, the coroner investigating the fire that killed Bonney's firefighters recommended that local housing agencies install sprinklers in all buildings over 30 meters (98 feet) in height. A few months later, another coroner echoed that suggestion, but the government didn't mandate such action. The Cheshire Fire Authority commissioned a study showing that retrofitting buildings with sprinklers would save lives and be relatively cheap, costing 800-1,700 pounds per apartment. 'In the absence of legislation, persuasion alone has proven an ineffective route to securing sprinkler adoption, and despite campaigning by fire and rescue services nationally, change to legislation continues to be ruled out by decision makers who see this as an added burden on business,' the agency said in a 2013 report. Angela Eagle, a member of Parliament from the opposition Labour Party, laid the blame for fire-safety lapses at the feet of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party. 'As the leader of a party which is responsible for seven years of austerity . and the leader of a party that has spent its time talking about regulation as a bad thing, is she now going to apologize to the country for the state of local government when the richest borough in London couldn't cope with this emergency?' Eagle asked after May updated lawmakers on the disaster. The squeeze on resources isn't just happening in Britain. Inflation adjusted spending on local fire protection in the United States fell 4.7 percent from 2010 to 2014 as the population rose 3 percent, according to the NFPA. The number of professional firefighters is down 2.5 percent from its peak in 2013. And around the globe, high-rise buildings are popping up in developing countries that have historically had far fewer fire-safety regulations and fewer firefighting resources. Donald Bliss, vice president of field operations for the NFPA, who warned last year that exterior cladding was likely to result in a deadly fire, underscored that materials like those blamed for the Grenfell disaster aren't the only issue. 'When it comes to high-rise buildings the fact that you may be putting large numbers of people at risk means the high rise must have sophisticated fire protection systems and building components in place,' said Bliss. 'If you don't do that, there will be consequences. 'It means people will die.
  • The reviews from around the globe are in and they show scant confidence outside the United States in President Donald Trump's ability to do the right thing on international affairs, with fewer than 3 in 10 respondents expressing confidence, according to a Pew Research Center survey of attitudes toward Trump in more than three dozen countries. Most of those surveyed also disapprove of Trump's major policies, including his promise to erect a physical wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and temporarily halting travel from six mostly Muslim countries. In terms of personal traits, more than half see the U.S. president as a strong leader, but that positive view is outweighed by larger majorities who describe the real estate developer and former reality TV star as arrogant, intolerant or dangerous. Among the 37 countries Pew surveyed, Trump scored higher marks than his predecessor, President Barack Obama, in two: Russia and Israel. Pew has produced this survey annually since 2002, starting with the first term of George W. Bush. The edition released late Monday is the first conducted since Trump took office in January. According to the survey, a median of 22 percent across all the countries surveyed expressed confidence that Trump will do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. That means that if the results from each country are ranked in order, 22 percent is the midpoint, with the percentage expressing confidence in Trump falling above or below that point in equal numbers of countries. The 22 percent rating marks a steep drop from the closing years of Obama's presidency, when a median of 64 percent expressed confidence in Obama' ability to direct America's role in the world. Trump's largest base of support comes from Filipinos, 69 percent of whom say they have confidence in him. Nations in which more than half of the public offers positive opinions of Trump include Nigeria and Vietnam, 58 percent each; Israel, 56 percent and Russia, 53 percent. The results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted among 40,447 respondents in 37 countries in all regions of the world between Feb. 16 and May 8. Bush's ratings fell after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and never fully recovered in some countries. Across 26 nations that Pew surveyed near the end of Bush's term, a median of only 27 percent had confidence in Bush's ability to handle international affairs. Ratings for America's president rose in 2009 after Obama took office. There was a dip in confidence in some countries that coincided with Obama's increased use of drone strikes and a National Security Agency spying scandal, but Obama enjoyed a median confidence rating of 64 percent across 37 countries surveyed near the end of his second term. The survey found widespread disapproval of some of Trump's major policies. The promised U.S.-Mexico border wall is opposed by a median of 76 percent across the 37 countries, rising to 94 percent in Mexico. More than 7 in 10 disagree with Trump's proposals to pull the U.S. out of a landmark climate change agreement and withdraw from multinational trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump has pulled the U.S. out of both agreements, although the survey was conducted before his June 2 announcement on exiting the Paris climate accord. More than 60 percent disapprove of Trump's proposal for a temporary ban on people entering the U.S. from certain majority Muslim countries. More than half the respondents in four countries — Hungary, Israel, Poland and Russia — support the proposal. Opposition was strong in several largely Muslim countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Senegal. U.S. courts had blocked two versions of Trump's travel ban, but he won a partial victory Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the administration to go forward with a limited version of the ban. The high court also agreed to hear arguments in the case in October. The ban applies to visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Pew survey also found opposition to Trump's proposal to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which he has yet to act on. While 55 percent see Trump as a strong leader, larger majorities of those surveyed said they see him as arrogant, 75 percent; intolerant, 65 percent; and dangerous, 62 percent. Amid federal and congressional investigations into possible election-year coordination between Trump and Russian government officials, Russia is one of two countries to give Trump higher marks than it did Obama. Israel also scored Trump higher than Obama. Obama fell out of favor with Israel after negotiating the nuclear deal with Iran, an enemy of the Jewish state. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap