This week I had intended to write about the devastating and unnecessary sequester that has Washington, D.C. gridlocked, but another event has forced me to take a temporary detour. You see, last Friday was Justin Bieber’s 19th birthday.

Unfortunately it turned out so miserably that he tweeted “Worst birthday ever!” Being the guru of pop culture that I am I had to investigate.

The Biebs was on tour in merry old England, which didn’t turn out so merry. With his birthday approaching he planned a bodacious bash at London’s Cirque du Soir nightclub. I had never heard of the place so I went on the Internet.

According to their website, “Cirque Du Soir brings the most exclusive circus to London. Be welcomed at the door by the ringmaster and escorted downstairs by the Cirque clown and our goblin dwarf. You will be mesmerized by fire eaters, aerial acts and the burlesque angle grinder launching sparks off an electric guitar.” Frankly, nothing says happy birthday to me more than giant sparks off an electric guitar while I‚Äôm dining.

But among Justin‚Äôs invited guests were two who were underage. Uh, oh. One was Biebs‚Äô new rumored flamed, Ella-Paige Roberts Clarke. If you Google Ella‚Äôs photo, you might be surprised. For white-bread Biebs I was expecting a cute, demure Selena Gomez type. Well, Ella appears to be more the Beyonce “take no prisoners” type.

The other underage guest was Jaden Smith, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett‚Äôs oldest son, who starred in the 2010 movie “The Karate Kid” and, like Ella, also has four names. Jaden Christopher Syre Smith was born in 1998. At 14 he‚Äôs rumored to be “romancing” Kylie Jenner, the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star. Other than “who cares?” this raises the question, what is 14-year-old Jaden doing partying in London? And where were Will and Jada?

On the night of Biebs‚Äô big bash, unfortunately security stopped Jaden and Ella from entering the Cirque. As he‚Äôs wont to do, Justin threw a huge tantrum, canceled the party and later angrily tweeted, “Worst birthday ever!” (A less poetic version of “It‚Äôs my party and I‚Äôll cry if I want to.”)

Meanwhile, back in L.A., Biebs “BFF” (best friend forever, or until further notice) Lil Twist was pulled over on the 101 Freeway by the CHP. (Surprise, surprise, Lil Twist is a rapper.) He was driving the Biebs‚Äô luxury hybrid sports sedan, the Karma. Given the circumstances, what a perfect name.

According to the police report, Lil Twist was pulled over for an unsafe lane change but that charge was dropped. Whew. But Biebs’ windows are evidently excessively tinted so when he comes back to the states he’s got some un-tinting to do.

This isn’t the first problem of Lil Twist in a Biebermobile. On the evening of New Year’s Day he was driving Biebs’ Ferrari when he was pulled over again. Moments later a paparazzo was hit by another car and killed! Forgive me but Lil Twist sounds like the modern-day Eddie Haskell.

Unfortunately, it appears that Biebs was still rattled at Monday‚Äôs London concert. As described in the British press as “disgusting behaviour,” Bieber was two hours late “leaving hundreds of young girls crying and heartbroken after being forced to leave without seeing Baby singer.”

Crying and heartbroken brings me back to the sequester and Congress. Am I trying to compare a severely spoiled, self-indulgent, seemingly out of control and shallow pop singer to the Republican majority in the House? Actually yes, but without the talent. (Unless you count Speaker Boehner’s crying as some sort of talent.)

The Senate is not much better. The Democratic majority was trying to pass a bill that, if ratified by the House and signed by the president, would solve the sequester. But the GOP minority saw fit to filibuster so that the bill was never even voted on. In fact, since Obama took office, Senate Republicans have filibustered more than at any time since southern segregationists employed the tactic to block civil rights legislation.

Frankly, I’m convinced that the GOP doesn’t want a good economy, at least not now. That would mean Hillary wins in 2016. Another egregious example is that 87 percent of the country wants universal background checks on gun purchases, but the GOP is blocking that, too. Since they can’t win elections they’ve turned obstructionism into an art form.

But there is a glimmer of hope. Wednesday, to discuss the nation‚Äôs budget woes, President Obama took a dozen GOP senators out to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel in downtown D.C. (If you‚Äôre wondering who picked up the tab, we did.) As opposed to Biebs‚Äô botched birthday bash, I hope and pray all went well at the Jefferson. Put it this way, we‚Äôre all in trouble if the president tweets, “Worst dinner ever.”


Jack can be reached at

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