The cartoon that I have chosen is from the New York Times. It is a cartoon by Tony Auth, and can be found online here: http://www.uclick.com/client/nyt/ta/ It was published in the New York Times regular issue on the 23rd of February, according to the date on the cartoon, though I found it online.
The cartoon is called "The Birds". It depicts the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. From the building, there is a swarm of black birds flying. Instead of normal eyes and normal beaks, the birds have pairs of scissors on their heads.
There is a lot of symbolism and cultural reference that calls attention to the ironic message of the cartoon. The US Capitol Building is obviously a reference to the US Congress. The birds are a reference to the Alfred Hitchcock movie. The title of the cartoon, "The Birds", is the same, which makes the reference clear. This is key to the message of the cartoon. The scissors on the bird's heads are most likely referring to cuts, like budget cuts, of some kind.
The political issue that the cartoon is discussing is therefore the issue of budget cuts in the US Congress. The budget cut issue is one that is often in politics, and it is again today. The issue is the "sequester", which is supposed to create significant budget cuts if a deal is not made to avoid it. This situation has been brewing for a long time, and the issue today relates to the end of 2012, when the current deadline for the cuts was set. The Congress is forced into a situation where