2000 Doesn't Equal 618

Prominent right-wing propagandists have been proclaiming that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin didn't use 2000 buses to evacuate poor, carless people from the city before the storm. They're right. But only because New Orleans didn't have 2000 buses. Media Matters, which unlike Jack Kelly and Sean Hannity bothered to check facts, reports that New Orleans has had a total of 618 working school and city buses. Now according to my calculations, if each bus had been able to hold 50 people—and that's unrealistic if not impossible—and had made three trips apiece, they would've been able to transport 92,700 people somewhere. Not out of the city, though, since one trip a reasonable distance from the city would've taken hours with all the traffic, and they wouldn't have been able to return because of contraflow (which worked pretty well, by the way). I imagine this is why the weekend before the storm the mayor told New Orleanians that buses would pick them up and take them to one of several shelters of last resort. Apparently some of those buses didn't show up; but that's a different issue.

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