Questions on comma splices, i.e. commas used to join two independent clauses.

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Too many commas in this sentence?

I don't know if this sentence is too long, or if it's okay to keep stringing phrases with commas. Any help would be great as my English is not so good. When I was using the toy truck as a reward ...
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Parenthetical elements

Why is it acceptable sometimes for writers to enclose an independent clause--a clause which could stand by itself as its own sentence--in dashes and parentheses, yet this can't be done with commas? An ...
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A good attitude, that's what counts. — Good attitude is an appositive?

At first I saw this and thought comma splice; but that can't be because a splice requires two clauses. In this sentence "a good attitude" is in apposition to the pronoun "that;" that's why this ...