November 19, 2018

"Chani Nicholas doesn’t care for the hulking Alex Katz painting, depicting a trio of suited white men, hanging behind the front desk of the Langham hotel in New York. It reminds her of the patriarchy..."

"... she tells me one rainy, starless night in February, as we take the elevator up to her hotel suite and sit on the couch. We’re wrapping up a conversation about privilege, gender equality and the zodiac when Nicholas, who’s become popular on Instagram as a kind of social-justice astrologer, notices a different art piece hovering behind her. This one, she likes. The painting, titled 'Mona,' portrays a woman who shares a striking resemblance to Nicholas – dark hair with tight curls, sharp brown eyes, a strong jawline. She compares it to the painting in the lobby. 'The hotel staff must’ve known not to put me in a room with a bunch of weird guys on the wall,' she says. 'I’m basically an angry feminist who just happens to be into astrology and healing.'"

So begins "Meet the Woman Bringing Social Justice to Astrology
Chani Nicholas is transforming horoscopes from quips about finding true love and stumbling into financial good fortune to pointed calls to action"
(Rolling Stone)(via my son John at Facebook).

If you get far enough into that article, you'll see some material about a technology and culture reporter at The New York Times, Jenna Wortham:
“I think the Internet is really good at helping like-minded individuals find each other and affirm each other,” she says. “I know a lot of people in my life who don’t give a shit about astrology and think that my interest in star signs is ludacris [sic] and laughable, but I don’t have to talk to them,” she says....

Wortham thinks that the millennial interest in astrology has to do with the correction of an imbalance, in which people are looking at their relationship to technology and finding it, at least to a degree, unnatural. Because social media and the Internet require people to externalize so much of their lives, people are looking for ways to be more introspective, she says. “In the same way that we’re like, ‘What’s the quality of the food that we’re eating? We’re now like, ‘How are we living? Is there a better way to live?'”

Last year, Wortham went through a difficult breakup and decided to switch neighborhoods in Brooklyn.... “I took Chani’s advice, and I made [something] happen,” says Wortham.... “When I think back on it, I don’t think it would’ve been as easy for me to manage all the influxes of opportunity had my house not been in order.” Nicholas’s guidance, Wortham says, helped her affirm whether she was doing the right thing. “It’s cool feeling like there’s something correlating in the cosmos and on the earth,” she says.
I wonder what the NYT's idea of reporting on "technology and culture" really is. Is it articles on technology designed to draw in people who wouldn't normally read about technology? I went over to the NYT and found this video about astrology:

I had to shut that off because I felt a strong and physical revulsion to the visual style. It didn't remind me of the patriarchy or anything like that. It just made me feel like a very annoying robot had the delusion that he could amuse me and intended to relentlessly act on that delusion. I had my own delusion — that I would have a seizure if I didn't shut it off.

ADDED: Jenna Wortham's new article in the NYT Magazine is "On Instagram, Seeing Between the (Gender) Lines/Social Media Has Turned Out to Be the Perfect Tool For Nonbinary People to Find — and Model — Their Unique Places on the Gender Spectrum." Excerpt:
Personally, Vaid-Menon doesn’t identify as any gender. “Nonbinary is so oxymoronic,” Vaid-Menon told me. “We’re defining ourselves by an absence and not our abundance.” When pressed, they will describe themselves as transfeminine, gender-nonconforming and nonbinary — but only reluctantly. “I really try to escape having to put myself in these categories,” Vaid-Menon said. “I wanted to be free from boxes — not end up in a new one.” Social media is one of the few outlets for that uninhibited expression.
AND here's the Alex Katz painting at the Langham Hotel:

Significantly less evocative of the patriarchy than the Rolling Stone made it sound! The "trio of suited white men" is next to a trio of women. And the men aren't wearing suits. White Man #1 has a turtleneck under his jacket. White Man #2 doesn't seem to have a jacket. And White Man #3 has his shirt collar gaping open in a way that suggests he's not wearing a tie. All 6 adults are staring in the direction of a bright light source and all but the one man in prescription glasses are wearing sunglasses, so they're not in an office environment. Where are they? The background is dark, so it's a confusing setting, but there's no reason to think they're in a position to exercise patriarchal power. They're out for some kind of fun. And the women are in front of the men.

"Why Democrats Should Not Call the Georgia Governor’s Race 'Stolen'/There are three important reasons to cool this rhetoric..."

"... despite Brian Kemp’s odious voter suppression efforts," cautions lawprof Richard Hasen (at Slate). The 3 reasons:
First, rhetoric about stolen elections feeds a growing cycle of mistrust and delegitimization of the election process, an attack pushed by President Trump and other Republicans who have been yelling “voter fraud” every time they are behind in the count. I’ve already set out my fear that Trump could refuse to concede the 2020 presidential election if he is ahead in the count on election night and then ballot counts inevitably shift toward Democrats as the counting continues....

Second... Saying Kemp tried to suppress Democratic votes and saying the election was stolen are two different things, and making charges of a stolen election when it cannot be proved undermines Democrats’ complaints about suppressive tactics. If Democrats can’t prove it, some people will think the suppression is no big deal when it really is....

[Third] It focuses attention on the wrong question: whether there was enough suppression to change election outcomes....
ADDED: Let me expand on Hasen's first point: Fomenting cynicism about elections might hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Democrats are the ones who need to mobilize more of the people who are inclined to sit things out, and the idea that the everything's fake and rigged isn't going to motivate people to participate.

"Trump Makes Risqué Joke About Antonin Scalia's Widow Having 9 Kids During Medal of Freedom Ceremony."

That's how People puts it, because why not take what shots you can at Trump, even if unsettles the good feelings of honoring a deceased hero?

Why not take shots?

1. How else are people going to notice how much sex there is in the remarks "You were very busy, wow. Wow" and "I always knew I liked him" (spoken to a woman who gave birth to 9 children)?

2. It's Scalia. Like Trump, he's someone you're supposed to take shots at whenever you can.

3. Because calls for civility, like Silberman's "DECORUM!" are always bullshit. Silberman's not going for DECORUM! himself as he yells DECORUM! at Trump.

By the way, who is Steve Silberman? I clicked through to his Twitter page and saw that he's the author of "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity." That made me wonder what NeuroTribe Trump belongs to.

Here's the NYT review of "NeuroTribes." It seems to be only about autism, not some notion that there's a neurotribe for each of us. Too bad!

November 18, 2018

At the Cayenne Café...


... you can talk all night.

And buy your stuff at Amazon through the Althouse Portal. If you need a recommendation, I'd say that about once a year you should order a giant pump bottle of Precipitation.

Trump gives a Schitt.

Trump gives a long interview to Chris Wallace.

Watch the whole thing:

Celine Dion is a super-hero who bestows gender privacy on babies... with her new fashion line.

This weird commercial is worth watching — if only for the expression of philosophy:

Gender privacy for babies... and older kids... with stuff like this:

ADDED: At the shopping site, called CELINUNUNU, the brand explains itself in the kind of prose I've seen too often on wall cards at art museums:

"Fiction that isn’t an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money."

That's Rule 2, my favorite of Jonathan Franzen's "10 Rules for the Novelist" — an excerpt from his new collection of essays "The End of the End of the Earth," which is one of the books I'm reading these days.

For some reason, I always read Jonathan Franzen's essays, but I have never read one of his novels. The main novelist I've read in the last year is Haruki Murakami. I've read 4 of his novels this year (plus a short story collection). Franzen's Rule 2 sounds very much like what Murakami does, something I like.

Anyway, Franzen's "10 Rules" — published at lithub, linked above — has been "gleefully trolled on Twitter" according to The Guardian. None of the trolling is good enough to quote, but obviously, one idea is to produce your own list, but since you're on Twitter, you won't have enough room to write a list of 10. And most of what passes for trolling is writers showing they're hostile to (i.e., envious of) Jonathan Franzen.

Most of the "trolls" (i.e., irritated, envious writers) don't really get the spirit of the 10 rules, which I presume are inspired by the famous "10 Rule of Writing" by Elmore Leonard. The titles are not identical. Leonard has "of" where Franzen has "for." That slight difference makes it slightly less likely that Franzen was directly appropriating Leonard's idea. Oh, no, wait. It's more different. Franzen's title is "10 Rules for the Novelist." That explains the "for" instead of "of." Franzen is offering rules to a type of person. Leonard sees rules arising from and inherent in the activity.

Franzen has spoken positively about Leonard elsewhere, in a lecture "On Autobiographical Fiction" ("Farther Away: Essays" (pp. 129-130)).
The point at which fiction seems to become easy for a writer... is usually the point at which it’s no longer necessary to read that writer. There’s a truism, at least in the United States, that every person has one novel in him. In other words, one autobiographical novel. For people who write more than one, the truism can probably be amended to say: every person has one easy-to-write novel in him, one ready-made meaningful narrative. I’m obviously not talking here about writers of entertainments, not P. G. Wodehouse or Elmore Leonard, the pleasure of whose books is not diminished by their similarity to one another; we read them, indeed, for the reliable comforts of their familiar worlds. I’m talking about more complicated work, and it’s a prejudice of mine that literature cannot be a mere performance: that unless the writer is personally at risk—unless the book has been, in some way, for the writer, an adventure into the unknown; unless the writer has set himself or herself a personal problem not easily solved; unless the finished book represents the surmounting of some great resistance—it’s not worth reading. Or, for the writer, in my opinion, worth writing.
Ah, you see: There's the idea in Franzen's Rule 2. Right next to the name Elmore Leonard. I'm 99.9% sure that Franzen's "10 Rules" is his variation on Elmore Leonard. It even tracks Leonard's combining big rules and small rules. Franzen's Rule 2 is a big rule, but he also has a small rule, Rule 3: "Never use the word then as a conjunction—we have and for this purpose...." Leonard's smallest rule is #6, "Never use the words 'suddenly' or 'all hell broke loose.'" A big Leonard rule is #10, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."

I've written about Leonard's rules before. Here's my "Suddenly, 10 things."

"I’m so upset, I feel physically ill. Just the ugliness of it all. It’s so heartbreaking that all we can do is bring each other down and cut into each other. I feel like I’m going to cry."

Said Marsha Newman, a 66-year old school counselor in Chapmanville, W.Va., quoted in "These Americans Are Done With Politics/The Exhausted Majority needs a break" (NYT). According to the article, a study by a "nonpartisan organization" found two thirds of "a representative group of 8,000 Americans" to fall into a category labeled "Exhausted Majority."
“It feels very lonely out here,” said Jamie McDaniel, a 36-year-old home health care worker in Topeka, Kan., one of several people in the study who was interviewed for this article. “Everybody is so right or left, and you’re just kind of standing there in the middle saying, “What happened?’”
By the way, the word editing in the NYT has really gotten bad — "one of several people in the study who was interviewed"!

I'm glad I already have a tag that works for this topic — "tired of politics." I know I'm tired of politics, but I kind of have been all my life. It's nice to have company.

But is this NYT article really about how people are exhausted or is it about how the Democratic Party needs to admit it has a problem? The end of the article sounds like a loud wake-up alarm for Democrats:

November 17, 2018

In the Overnight Snow Café...


... you can leave a sprinkling of comments.

"Making friends is actually quite simple; most people are flattered that someone cool (that would be you, taking my advice) wants to befriend them."

"If there is a person in your workplace, church group or running club that sets off Potential Friend sirens in your head, here’s what you do":
1) Become a person who is comfortable spouting non-sequiturs. Friendship starts by talking, which means that someone has to start talking! Comment on the weather, or the smell of the room, or something on TV last night … regularly. It’s pleasant to make conversation about something light...

2) Then, once you have built up a rapport with your Potential Friend, you have to DTT: Divulge To Them. Share a very tiny secret, like you have cramps or you’re hung over or you accidentally voted for Bush. This is step one to building trust.

3) The next step is crucial! After you DTT, wait a period of time, and then refer back to the thing you divulged to them! You are creating an inside joke. THE FOUNDATION OF FRIENDSHIP.

4) And finally, you have to ask them to hang out with you one on one. And then again, 2-6 weeks later. Then they should get the hint and ask you to hang out, too. Now you are friends. Congrats!
From "How to Make Friends" (NYT) — addressing the difficulty people seem to have making real friends after they're out of school.

And I know — you never have cramps and you voted for Bush on purpose. That's why I'm able to DTT that I write a blog that is read mostly by people who voted for Bush on purpose AND Trump on purpose. And I seriously need to make new friends after the friends I lost because my blog is read mostly by people who voted for Bush on purpose and Trump on purpose.

As for step #4, if you do the ask-out twice like that and then they never come back with the ask-out, then you know you are not "someone cool." But keep wielding the old 4-step approach to get more data points. Good luck!

"When Sardar Singh Jatav set out walking on a muggy night in early September to talk with the men who employed his son, he found them already waiting for him in the road."

"But they were not in the mood for discussion. The higher-caste men greeted Mr. Sardar with a punch to the face. Then they broke his arm. Then they pinned him down. Mr. Sardar shrieked for help. Nobody came. One higher-caste man stuffed a rag in his mouth. Another gleefully pulled out a razor. He grabbed Mr. Sardar’s scalp and began to lift and cut, lift and cut, carving off nearly every inch of skin. 'Take that!' Mr. Sardar remembers them saying. 'Tell everyone we scalped you!'... One police commander tried to claim that the assailants hadn’t intended to scalp Mr. Sardar but that part of his scalp had simply fallen off when they hit him in the head with a stick.... Mr. Sardar said that while he was being scalped, the Gujjars taunted him for wearing a turban, something that Dalits are not supposed to do. He remembers the men saying: 'We’re going to take away your crown.'"

From "‘Tell Everyone We Scalped You!’ How Caste Still Rules in India" (NYT).

"Sara Lynn Michener, 39, stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret about 10 years ago. She said she was frustrated..."

"... by the seemingly inexperienced sales people, the overwhelming 'pinkness' of the brand and the inauthentic 'glamazon images' in the store. She now mostly buys her bras online and at Nordstrom, environments that are mostly free of the sexed-up imagery that makes Victoria’s Secret the store it is. 'Even if I walk into the Nordstrom section, I’m going to have a bad day, so you can imagine Victoria’s Secret,' Ms. Michener, a writer who lives in the Bay Area, said."

From a long article in the NYT called "In 2018, Where Does Victoria’s Secret Stand?/The lingerie company has clung to the idea that women should look sexy for men. And sales are plummeting."

Of course, my question was: Ms. Michener, a writer — is she related to James A. Michener?

Googling her name, I found her page on Medium: "Sara Lynn Michener/Writer. Maker. Feminist. Internet Curator. Spitfire. Ravenclaw. Trekkie. Social Justice Apologist." Ravenclaw — what is that, some Harry Potter category? Yes — "6 reasons to get excited if you’re sorted into Ravenclaw" ("Ravenclaw is the house that champions those with a 'ready mind'"). Do people pushing 40 really think of themselves in terms of Harry Potter classifications? I guess it's better than astrology, and it looks like you just pick the one you think you are, so it's probably also better than the Myers Briggs system.

But is Sara Lynn Michener related to James A. Michener? The closest I got to an answer was an essay by Ms. Michener, "The Life and Times of Thurber James Michener/Obituary of a Beloved Dog."
... I placed all the love I had left in this dog, knowing he could never hurt me unless he was parted from me, like my own little pantalaimon. He licked my tears and put his head on my chest or dove between body and arm and seemed to make it possible for me to breathe. He followed me around extra closely, he was happily affectionate when I was happy, and gently affectionate when I was sad. I came to understand that the magic of this town I had loved, was merely how I had seen it — along with everyone else who comes to love a place to the point of fiction. Every American small town has a dark underbelly once the veil of what feels so deeply like community is lifted, so easily and under the slightest pressure. When I saw it for what it truly was without that love, I left with an effort that would not have been possible without my constant. All eighteen pounds of him in fur, bone, blood, and a love of bacon and peanut butter.
Anyway, I was thinking about James A. Michener, because I've been working my way through a box set of the complete episodes of "Friends," and his name came up in "The One With The Stoned Guy" (from February 1995). Ross wants to accommodate a girlfriend who expects him to talk dirty when they have sex, Joey gives him some lessons, and Ross reports back: "Oh, I was unbelievable.... I was the James Michener of dirty talk. It was the most elaborate filth you have ever heard. I mean, there were characters, plot lines, themes, a motif... at one point there were villagers."

At one point there were villagers! Did Americans understand that line in 1995? TV writers 23 years ago expected a mainstream audience to grasp a surreal turn in the dialogue that demanded understanding of the work of a specific writer. But it was James A. Michener — and he was still alive (alive and 88) and he'd even published a novel that year — another one of his 40 books. I'm just going to guess that knowing, back then, that a Michener story would have villagers was about as difficult as understanding, these days, what it means to be a Ravenclaw.

"Leaves are nature's natural mulch and fertilizer... When you rake all the leaves away, you are removing that natural benefit to your garden and lawns..."

"... then people turn around and spend money to buy mulch. If you feel like you have to clean up your yard... people can use their leaves like they would mulch, and move them to a garden bed or area that is more aesthetically pleasing.... Over winter months, a lot of butterflies and moths as pupa or caterpillar are in the leaf litter, and when you rake it up you are removing the whole population of butterflies you would otherwise see in your yard."

From The Detroit Free Press (internal quotation marks deleted).

Surgery without sedation and a question about charity.

"Most cataract surgeries are performed using a local anesthetic as well as 'conscious sedation,' which involves an anesthesiologist putting patients into a sort of twilight state. But some practitioners will do the procedure without the sedation. Although not for everybody, surgeons say, this approach is worth asking about if you’re a calm patient. It can be especially appealing if you don’t have someone to help you get home, or your insurance doesn’t fully cover the cost of an anesthesiologist."

From "What Doctors Don’t Tell You About Cataract Surgery/Patients should know about choices to be made about the procedure and postsurgery adjustments that may be unexpected" (WSJ).

I don't like that headline, because based on my experience, doctors do tell you all those things. Maybe some doctors don't tell you, and I'll bet some patients don't understand or remember what they are told. But I didn't know that "some practitioners will do the procedure without the sedation." That surprised me. A tough person who hates sedation might like this option, but I think it's terribly sad if someone picks this option because they don’t have anybody to help them get home or because they can't cover the cost of sedation.

I suspect that not having someone to help you when it is required for a medical procedure is a troublesome problem for many aging people who are proud of living independently. It would be nice if there were an easy, Uber-like service for this need.

And yet why am I so sad about this? I know that extremely low-cost cataract surgery is provided to millions of people in other countries. I've researched some of the charities that do this work, and they say $25 is all it takes to remove one person's cataracts. Presumably, sedation is a luxury. Maybe we comfortably squeamish Americans should be asked if we would forgo the sedation if it would cover the cost of cataract surgery for 100 individuals in poor countries.

November 16, 2018

At the Friday Night Café...

... you can talk all night.

And think of using the Althouse Portal to Amazon. If you'd like to buy what I just bought, it would be this wooden spoon and this jumbo bottle of Philosophy Purity.

WaPo's Jennifer Rubin pushes for a primary challenge to Trump... with the end of getting — who else? — John Kasich elected.

In "Here’s what a primary challenge to Trump would accomplish," she writes:
While there might be downside to the person challenging Trump, a primary opponent isn’t likely to take Trump on if he’s concerned about playing it safe and husbanding his or her popularity. The primary challenger, if you will, acts like the horse who jumps out to the lead, wears down the favorite and allows his stablemate to come from behind for the victory. And sometimes, the lead horse might actually win. Who’d do this? Maybe someone who already has a job (e.g., Mitt Romney, the Utah senator-elect), or doesn’t need one (e.g., a retired government official), or just thinks it’s the right thing to do (outgoing Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake?). ...

[A] primary run doesn’t preclude a third-party run by a different candidate, most likely a moderate candidate in the event Trump wins the GOP nomination. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, visiting in New Hampshire, explained the ideal circumstances for such a run. My colleague David Weigel writes, “Kasich was speculating on what it would take to break the two-party system wide open. He imagined a 2020 matchup between Trump and a left-wing Democrat that would create ‘a vast ocean between the parties.’ ” The decision to mount a third-party run could wait until after both parties pick their nominee; but if Trump falters in the primary, nothing would stop Kasich (or anyone else) from entering the race. (For now, Kasich occupies an enviable position. A non-candidate with high name ID can continue to criticize Trump and urge his fellow Republicans to hold Trump accountable for his rhetoric and actions.)
I just love the phrase "husbanding his or her popularity."

Anyway... someone other than Kasich is supposed to go in there and wear himself out weakening Trump, and Kasich has identified himself as the one to come in after someone else does the groundwork. Kasich is the moderate in waiting — quite openly and with strong support from The Washington Post.

"CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination."

WaPo reports.
The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is [based on] multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence. Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that he should go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so.

It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence....

The CIA’s conclusion about [the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] was also based on the agency’s assessment of the prince as the country’s de facto ruler who oversees even minor affairs in the kingdom. “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” said a U.S. official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions....

The CIA sees Mohammed as a “good technocrat,” the U.S. official said, but also as volatile and arrogant, someone who “goes from zero to 60, doesn’t seem to understand that there are some things you can’t do.” CIA analysts believe he has a firm grip on power and is not in danger of losing his status as heir to the throne despite the Khashoggi scandal. “The general agreement is that he is likely to survive,” the official said, adding that Mohammed’s role as the future Saudi king is “taken for granted.”...

How Trump won the Acosta lawsuit.

You don't alway win by winning. That's too easy. The genius move is to win by losing.

AP reports on Trump's reaction to the temporary restraining order that Acosta won against him:
[The judge] ordered Acosta’s pass returned for now in part because he said CNN was likely to prevail on its Fifth Amendment claim — that Acosta hadn’t received sufficient notice or explanation before his credentials were revoked or been given sufficient opportunity to respond before they were....

“In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”

Speaking to reporters after the decision, Trump said, “If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win.” He later added: “We want total freedom of the press. It’s very important to me, more important to me than anybody would believe. But you have to act with respect when you’re in the White House, and when I see the way some of my people get treated at press conferences, it’s terrible. So we’re setting up a certain standard, which is what the court is requesting.”
The judge framed it as a matter of process, which justifies Trump issuing a set of rules of decorum. I assume the rules will include a requirement that a reporter who has received a response (whether it's to his liking or not) must relinquish the microphone, that there can be no physical interference with a staff member who reaches out to take the microphone, and that one must stop talking once the President (or press secretary) has moved on to the next questioner.

Any complaints about these rules and the prescribed consequences of violating them can be met with pieties about adhering to the judge's ruling. Things must be done in an orderly way — in the press room and in a system of due process. Any complaints premised on freedom of the press will be met with statements like "We want total freedom of the press" and we want perfect due process. So here you are, here's notice of our rules of decorum. And that should be the end of the kind of questioning Acosta has become famous for. Trump wins.


"[Stacey] Abrams mulls asking a court to order a second vote in Georgia governor’s race" (WaPo).
[Abrams] would rely on a provision in Georgia law that has never been utilized in such a high-profile contest. It allows losing candidates to challenge results based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities . . . sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.”...
Unofficial returns show Kemp with about 50.2 percent of the more than 3.9 million votes cast. To avoid a runoff with Abrams, he must win at least 50 percent of the vote. He has about 18,000 more votes than necessary to win outright.

To prevail in a court challenge, Abrams would have to demonstrate that irregularities were widespread enough that at least 18,000 Georgians either had their ballots thrown out or were not allowed to vote.
UPDATE: Abrams gives up, because "The law currently allows no further viable remedy," but...
“Let’s be clear: This is not a speech of concession because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper,” Ms. Abrams said amid a blistering attack on Mr. Kemp’s record as the state’s chief elections regulator and on the balloting process in Georgia. “As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that.”