1.a braided cord worn by Boy Scouts as a neckerchief slide, hatband, or ornament
2. a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft

In Context

“Conservatives often reflexively dismiss infrastructure spending as a boondoggle, and liberals, perhaps in reaction, often reflexively defend it, no matter how wasteful.”

Jim Surowiecki, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2017