I think this is strange. I work in public procurement in Belgium and under European law all participating companies are notified and have a 15 day period to file a complain before the contract is closed. During that period the decision who receives the contract can still be changed. After this period a company could still file a complain, but can only obtain a financial restitution. I'm surprised this isn't used in US government law.
I don't think it's dumb. How many would rather pay a small amount and have it over with, than go through a whole legal battle? If they were asking a large amount, people would be more likely to put up a fight.
Kurzweil speculates that if computer development keeps following Moores law, we'll have sufficiently fast computers to simulated an entire human brain in a few decades. This is pretty much a brute force methode to get an AI. No need for AI-researchers, just a fast computer, extremely accurated brain scanner and a good programmer with experience in simulation software.
You don't teleport the powerplant or the pylons. You teleport the bombs droppped on them. Just imagine the suprise on the faces of the crew when they find their ticking bomb back on their plane. Now if the teleporter makes a "meep meep" sound, we'll be all set...