The good news is that the House of Representatives passed the Save the Internet Act by a vote of 232-190. The bad news is while Republicans said they too want to to protect net neutrality, only one Republican voted for the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump have already refused to support the act.
The Act is designed to reverse the decision by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney, and Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr, Republican FCC commissioners, to kill net neutrality.
If turned into law, the Act would once more forbid internet service providers (ISP) from paid prioritization, throttling, and blocking internet services. It’s really quite simple. It would undo the Pai’s FCC 2018 net neutrality repeal. It would also turn the revised rules into laws. This would make net neutrality the law of the land. The FCC would have to enforce the new rules, but it couldn’t change them.
To no surprise, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai immediately denounced the Act: “This legislation is a big-government solution in search of a problem. The Internet is free and open, while faster broadband is being deployed across America. This bill should not and will not become law.”
In Pai’s post-net-neutrality internet, while Pai’s FCC claims only 25 million Americans don’t have broadband internet, Microsoft found 162.8 million people — over half the US’s population — don’t have internet broadband speeds.
We’ve also already seen how when some ISPs claim to offer good deals by making some sites and services’ data access free or cheaper. In reality, we now know this concept, zero rating, actually increases ISP fees.
The vast majority of people and businesses want a return to net neutrality. According to a recent Comparitech poll, eighty percent of Americans say they support net neutrality. And, a rare thing these days, net neutrality has bipartisan support. 87 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans surveyed support net neutrality,
Some Republicans in government would like to see net neutrality come back too. They just disagree on how it should be done. Be that as it may, President Donald Trump has already indicated he’ll veto the bill should it make it to his desk. That’s unlikely.
True, in 2018, the Senate voted to revive net neutrality. The then Republican-dominated House killed it. This time around Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already declared the bill “dead on arrival in the Senate.”
You can, of course, contact your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the Save the Internet Act (S. 682). But, let’s get real. Even while an overwhelming number of citizens want net neutrality, the current Republican regime isn’t paying them any attention. Only by voting out net neutrality enemies in 2020 can it ever be saved.
2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series confirmed: What we know of this Super SUV
Cadillac’s most lavish model is about to get a sports upgrade, with the 2023 Escalade V-Series marking the first time the SUV has worn the badge. While already notorious for its scale, luxury cabin, and general excess, the V-Series flavor of Escalade will add performance to that mix.
Full details of the 2023 Escalade V-Series won’t be shared until spring of this year, Cadillac has warned. These newly-released photos, meanwhile, show the pre-production form of the SUV. Still, it gives us plenty to go on, as does the trajectory of the V-Series line in general.
For Cadillac, V-Series is more than just speed
You can’t accuse Cadillac of underplaying just what a V-badged model can do. “With nearly two decades of racing-inspired prowess,” the automaker promises, “the V-Series designation is reserved for vehicles that encompass the peak of Cadillac performance, bold, distinguished design, and innovative technology.”
The route from V-Series’ founding in 2003 to today has seen a few big changes along the way. Initially intended as a way for Cadillac to compete with Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M division, it debuted with the 2004 Cadillac CTS-V sports sedan. That managed to score a role in the original Matrix movie series, (specifically The Matrix Reloaded, released in 2003), helping secure the green-light for the second-generation V Series in 2009.
Cadillac stuck with a familiar strategy: big, high-horsepower V8 engines, paired with its Magnetic Ride Control system for a sedan that could flick from luxury cruiser to track hero at the push of a button. By the time the ATS-V arrived in 2015, however, the criteria had expanded. Smaller and more affordable than the third-generation CTS-V – which got the Corvette C7’s 6.2-liter LT4 V8 to play with – the ATS-V packed a twin-turbo V6.
Beyond that, Cadillac attempted to replicate what BMW and Mercedes had achieved, expanding “V” as a broader badge to indicate a more sporting – though not necessarily the most sporting – iteration of a regular model. It tried, and abandoned, the V-Sport trim, and has most recently settled on “V” badged models as being entry-level performance options. The CT5-V and CT4-V are the current examples of that.
Meanwhile, a new Blackwing designation flags the most extreme examples of V-Series performance. Initially referring to Cadillac’s new Blackwing engine, but since expanded, the trim has so far appeared on the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing, each produced in limited number.
What we expect from the 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series
For the 2023 Escalade V-Series, the expectation is an evolution in performance rather than the outright leap that Blackwing badging would indicate. The current Escalade – now in its fifth-generation – already features a V8 engine as standard. That’s 6.2-liters in size and offers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic is standard.
They’re not small numbers, but then again the Escalade is not a small SUV. One possibility for an upgrade is the V8 from the CT5-V Blackwing, supercharged and with upwards of 600 horsepower on tap. Cadillac would obviously need to upgrade other components such as the brakes to balance that uptick in power, though Magnetic Ride suspension is already available on the SUV in its current form.
To better distinguish the V-Series truck visually, Cadillac has given it a moody makeover. The grille switches to black mesh, and most of the chrome has been deleted in favor of gloss-black trim. The bumpers front and rear, and the side sills, have been tweaked, and of course there are vast blacked-out wheels, too.
For the inside, Cadillac is playing it even more coy. A single image previews the “V” badging on the steering wheel, though we’d expect a fair amount of carbon fiber and Alcantara to feature, based on the other V-Series cars. The Escalade already offers a huge, curved dashboard display and plenty of space across three rows, not to mention a whole host of toys to play with.
As for 2023 Escalade V-Series pricing, there too Cadillac is saving full details. The current model spirals up to over $109k for the standard-length 4WD Sport Platinum trim, and that’s before you head into the options list. A six-figure V-Series is basically guaranteed, then, as Cadillac takes on well-esteemed (and well-equipped) performance SUVs from its German rivals.
Brabus 800 Adventure XLP Superblack is taking it to the extreme
Renowned Mercedes-Benz tuning house Brabus has unleashed its latest creation based on the Mercedes-AMG G63 sport-luxury SUV. It’s the newest variant of the 800 Adventure XLP Superblack, a go-anywhere pickup truck hiding a mighty powerful V8 engine under the hood.
Images: Brabus GmbH
This Airstream eStream concept is an electric camper with an innovative twist
Thor Industries, maker of the Airstream and other popular RVs, recently unveiled the eStream electric camper concept. It’s essentially a hi-tech Airstream travel trailer with some nifty innovations hiding underneath.
Images: Thor Industries
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