A term of praise loaded with unintentional irony, used to sound supportive but in fact revealing how bad a situation is. Immortalized by President George W. Bush when refering to the handling of the Katrina disaster by ex-FEMA director Michael "brownie" Brown, he also used it to describe the hurricane-ravaged remains of New Orleans. In both instances, you could cut the irony with a spoon.
Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job.
- George W. Bush, 9/2/2005
(New Orleans is) a heckuva place to bring your family.
- George W. Bush, 1/12/2006